A man who blamed a number of speeding offences on his own family has been banned from driving.
Lawrence Noto committed the offences in Sussex, Surrey and London, but nominated his relatives in the USA – despite having not seen them for several years.
His lying first came to light after a grey Porsche Panamera activated a 60mph speed camera on the A24 at Dial Post on 20 January 2018.
A Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) was sent to him as the registered keeper of the vehicle at his address in Kensington High Street, London. However, it was returned nominating his sister in Connecticut, USA.
The NIP was therefore sent to the USA but it was returned by the woman, saying she knew nothing about the offence, and she provided evidence to show she was in Mexico at the time.
Five further NIPs – for three offences in London and two in Surrey – were returned in similar circumstances. He had nominated the same sister for some offences and his other sister for the others.
A second speeding offence on the A24 at Dial Post was later returned by Noto nominating his business partner in Chichester. Again, this nominated person knew nothing about the offence and it was traced back to Noto.
The 46-year-old, a commodities broker, voluntarily attended Shoreham Police Station on 11 May 2018, where he was interviewed under caution and fully admitted to lying on these seven occasions. He offered no real explanation for this.
He was subsequently charged with seven counts of perverting the course of justice and at Lewes Crown Court on Friday 11 January he was sentenced to a total of 10 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years.
Noto was given credit for his full admissions, and was also ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work, pay costs of £1,200 and was disqualified from driving for 12 months.
He was convicted as part of Operation Pinocchio – launched by Sussex Police in 2016 with the following aims:
To improve safety on Sussex’s roads by tracing and prosecuting offenders who provide false information in an attempt to avoid prosecution;
And to prevent law-abiding motorists, who have been badly advised, from committing serious criminal offences by attempting to avoid speeding or red light offences.
The offence of perverting the course of justice carries a maximum term of life imprisonment.