A speeding motorcyclist who persistently lied to the police and whose deception provoked outrage on an internet “fight-back” forum has today (8 May 2013) been handed an eight-month jail term.
Andrew John Kelly, 37, of Littlemoor View, Pudsey, West Yorkshire, earlier admitted two counts of perverting the course of justice and one charge of speeding after being caught riding at 122mph on the A63 at Newthorpe, Selby on 20 June 2012.
He was sentenced to four months each for the two charges of perverting the course of justice, to run consecutively with a requirement to serve four months before being release on licence. If he breaches the licence, he will be returned to prison. He was given six penalty points on his licence for the speeding offence.
His occupation as an MOT tester for his family business is also in jeopardy.
Kelly looked to the internet motoring advice forum, Pepipoo, for advice about how to avoid the impending prosecution despite admitting on the forum that he was speeding at 122mph.
His lies then escalated into a serious sequence of events as he attempted to manipulate the law to avoid penalty points.
During the investigation, police also uncovered his previous deception after he bragged to forum users about how he avoided a parking fine by producing a fake, recovery invoice claiming his vehicle had broken down at the time.
His unashamed lies provoked a backlash from other users on Pepipoo who disapproved of his deception and his account was terminated by the administrators.
During police interviews he claimed that a man called “Richard” was riding his bike at the time of the offence as he wanted to buy it. Kelly could not provide any further information about “Richard” as he claimed the diary in which he kept “Richard’s” details had been stolen.
Traffic Constable Zoe Billings of North Yorkshire Police carried out a detailed investigation into the case with the assistance of Pepipoo.
Zoe Billings said:
Today’s sentence reflects the seriousness of the offences Kelly committed and demonstrates how seriously North Yorkshire Police take road safety. It sends a clear message that we will leave no stone unturned to ensure that those who put lives in danger on our roads are brought to justice.
Unbelievably Kelly published his intention to lie about who was riding his motorbike on the internet. When forum users spoke of their disgust at his dishonesty, he then bragged to them about how he had lied in the past and got away with not paying for a parking ticket.
Our investigation also revealed that Kelly had a history of failing to comply with statutory documentation and a complete disregard for road safety. He tried to portray himself as a simple mechanic who was poor at paperwork, but in reality, he is an accomplished liar.
He continued to lie during police interviews and only when presented with overwhelming evidence through his seized clothing, did he admit to being the rider of the bike. He has no-one but himself to blame for the situation he now has to face.
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Stephen Smith, co-founder of the pepipoo.com motoring advice website and forums, said:
This case shows yet again that many people don’t appear to appreciate the seriousness of lying about what they may see as ‘just speeding’, or even something as minor as a parking fine.
That’s why our forum members are so quick and so forceful, as with Mr Kelly’s posts, in trying to dissuade people who seem to be considering lying to the police and courts from doing so.
We fully support the fundamental rights of motorists accused of criminal offences to use any applicable legal defences to defend themselves, and are always ready to help them in doing so, however we will neither condone nor assist in any attempts to pervert the course of justice.
On the 20th June 2012, Kelly was caught by North Yorkshire Police’s mobile speed camera travelling at 122mph on a 70mph dual carriageway, the A63 at Newthorpe near Selby.
A notice of intended prosecution and a request under section 172 of the Road Traffic Act for driver details was sent to the registered keeper, a business address, on 29 June 2012 by recorded delivery.
This was never collected from the post office and was returned to North Yorkshire police central ticket office on 21 August 2012. A reminder notice was also sent to this address on the 20 July 2012 and was never returned.
Enquiries revealed two further addresses linked to this motorcycle, one as its insured address and the other as the home address of a person who had been riding the motorcycle when stopped by police on the 11 July 2012 and had informed the officer at that time that the motorcycle was his. Two further notices of intended prosecution and requests for driver details were then sent to these addresses on the 23 August 2012
The form sent to the insurance address (addressed to another person) was returned on the 21 September 2012 nominating the rider to be Andrew Kelly, which was the person to whom the other notice of intended presecution had been sent. The notice of intended prosecution sent to Andrew Kelly was returned on the 24 September 2012 nominating a person known only as “Richard” who, it was alleged had been riding the bike on a test ride.
On the 26 September 2012 North Yorkshire Police were made aware by Road Safety Support of a thread posted on the “Fight-back” internet forum pepipoo.com, in which a user by the name of “andyroo” documents a history of events which matched those above, stating he was the rider at the time of the offence but didn’t want the points, so muted various courses of action to try and avoid being caught.
Statements have been obtained from Road Safety Support and the administrator of the forums at pepipoo.com documenting the posts, messages and logs on the Pepipoo forum. These included another thread by “andyroo” containing details relating a parking offence in West Yorkshire in which they had falsified documentation to appeal a parking ticket.
Sufficient detail was included in the post to enable the police to trace the ticket, which was confirmed to have been issued to Andrew John Kelly, supporting the suspicion that the internet forum user “andyroo” was in fact Andrew John Kelly. A statement has been obtained from parking services, who had been alerted to the post on Pepipoo, documenting their involvement with Kelly over the ticket.
These included another thread by “andyroo” containing details relating a parking offence in West Yorkshire in which they had falsified documentation to appeal a parking ticket.
Kelly was arrested and items were seized from his home relating to both offences, including documentation, a computer and motorcycle clothing. The card from Royal Mail advising him of a Recorded delivery requiring collection (with tracking number identifying it as being the one relating to the original notice of intended prosecution) was recovered from Kelly’s vehicle, the reminder that was never returned was seized from Kelly’s bedroom. Other documentation was also recovered, including letters relating to the West Yorkshire parking offence.
Kelly was interviewed in which he admitted posting the original post relating to the speeding allegation, stating some of the details he’d made up. He continued to deny being the rider at the time and was adamant it was “Richard” until his seized motorcycle clothing was shown to him, along with a photograph of the rider at the time, which matched.
He then admitted to being the rider at the time, telling police he didn’t think he was capable of doing 122mph. No comment was made in relation to other posts, with Kelly alleging that posts etc could have been changed by forum staff (the statement from Stephen SMITH negates this)
When stopped in July on his motorcycle, Kelly had claimed ignorance of the legality of his registration plate on his motorcycle, yet is an MOT tester, leading the officer who stopped him to believe he was lying regarding his ignorance.
When challenged by West Yorkshire Parking Services regarding the forum post, he has stated he’s been the victim of a malicious forum attack and would pay the resurrected ticket.
Kelly admitted the following charges at York Crown Court on 8 April 2013
1 charge of perverting the course of justice in relation to the speeding offence
1 charge of perverting the course of justice in relation to a parking fine
1 charge of speeding at 122mph on his motorcycle