Belfast Telegraph

Man who lied about theft of his car avoids jail

Ryan Dickson (26) was yesterday given a nine-month jail sentence suspended for two years at Londonderry Crown Court (stock photo)
Ryan Dickson (26) was yesterday given a nine-month jail sentence suspended for two years at Londonderry Crown Court (stock photo)

By George Jackson

A man who falsely told police that his car had been stolen has avoided prison.

Ryan Dickson (26) was yesterday given a nine-month jail sentence suspended for two years at Londonderry Crown Court.

Dickson, from Gulf Road in Killaloo, pleaded guilty to a single charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice by falsely reporting to police on August 21 last year that his BMW had been stolen.

Police received a phone call from a member of the public who had seen the car crashed in a field at Foreglen Road just outside Derry. Officers traced ownership to Dickson who they found in his grandfather's house in an extremely intoxicated state and with fresh cuts and grazes to his knuckles and arms, and with wet and muddy clothing.

Judge Philip Babington said Dickson was breathalysed by police and his reading was over three times the legal limit.

Judge Babington said: "He was unable to account for various matters such as how the car was where it was, for the injuries that were plainly on him and for the condition of his clothes and himself being muddy and wet. At the time of this offending the defendant had no previous record by way of previous convictions.

"He did, however, have a caution in August 2017 arising out of an incident which had considerable similarity to the facts in this case, involving the same vehicle."

Judge Babington said Dickson's deception lasted 13 months until he admitted the offence on September 19.

"Conduct such as this, if allowed to persist, always makes the maintenance of a proper system of justice difficult and such conduct must be deterred," Judge Babington said, adding that if Dickson had been convicted after a trial, he would have jailed him for 15 months. Instead he sentenced him to nine months, suspended, to take into consideration Dickson's late admission and his mental health illness.

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