Pensioner Barry McInnes of Sittingbourne told police he was dead twin brother to avoid driving conviction
A boozy pensioner who assumed the identity of his late twin brother to beat a driving ban has been jailed for 14 months.
Barry McInnes had racked up three drink-driving convictions when a vigilant CCTV camera operator spotted him staggering towards his car late at night.
Police were alerted and the 68-year-old was stopped in Laker Road, Rochester.
He was unsteady on his feet and found to be twice the legal alcohol limit for driving.
He gave the name Ronald McInnes but his real identity was revealed after his fingerprints were checked.
Twice-married McInnes, of Canterbury Road, Sittingbourne, admitted perverting the course of justice, driving while disqualified, drink-driving and having no insurance.
He was disqualified for five years.
Maidstone Crown Court heard he gave his brother’s name both at the scene of his arrest on June 30 this year and also at Medway police station.
McInnes had been banned from driving for five years in 2007 and until he passed an extended test after his third conviction for excess alcohol and also driving while disqualified and without insurance.
James Ross, defending, said after his brother died from asbestosis in 2011, McInnes had fewer and fewer friends and his life revolved around going to the pub during evenings.
“Attending the pub is the only social life he has had,” said Mr Ross. “He fell in love with a Volkswagen Golf and decided to buy it on the spur of the moment.
“He provided his brother’s name in order that he could drive it. Having done that, he thought he could go to the pub and he would not be stopped.
“He never expected to be caught by the police. On several occasions he got into the car having drunk too much never thinking the police would see him or catch him.
“He has found himself in trouble yet again. He won’t trouble the court again. He has learnt his lesson.”
McInnes planned to sell his car, worth almost £6,000, and use the money to get taxis to and from the pub in future.
But the police had seized it and the court made an order permanently depriving him of it.
Judge Jeremy Carey told McInnes: “I am satisfied this offending, persistent and premeditated as it was, is far to serious not to impose anything other than an immediate, albeit short, custodial sentence.”
McInnes had acted in “a highly premeditated way” by masquerading as his dead twin brother.
“So it was you drove for a period of time in that way,” said he judge. “You were caught by a vigilant CCTV operator staggering towards your car having drunk too much in a public house.
“Courts have said time and again that this kind of serious attempt to pervert the course of justice should be met with a custodial sentence unless there is some compelling reason" - Judge Jeremy Carey
“Police stopped you before you could do any serious damage with your drunken driving. Fortunately, you were found out very quickly and now you must take the consequences.
“Courts have said time and again that this kind of serious attempt to pervert the course of justice should be met with a custodial sentence unless there is some compelling reason to depart from this approach.
“The message should go out loud and clear that when caught the consequences will be severe.”
McInnes was sentenced to 14 months for perverting the course of justice, 12 months for driving while disqualified and three months for driving with excess alcohol, all concurrent.
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