Driver who lied about crashing BMW caught out by DNA test on airbag

South Tyneside Magistrates' Court
South Tyneside Magistrates' Court
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A man who lent a car to a friend who then crashed it told police he was the driver.

The BMW was found on its roof on a roundabout on the John Reid Road, South Shields, in the early hours of the morning with the driver having fled the scene.

Police inquiries led to Michael Taylor - as the person who had the car at the time - South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard.

Glenda Black, prosecuting, said: “The car did not have a registered keeper but inquiries showed it was insured by Michael Taylor.

“At first Mr Taylor wouldn’t say who was driving and later named himself as the driver.

“Police were not inclined to believe him, so a forensic examination of the driver’s airbag of the car was carried out.”

The court heard DNA on the airbag led police to Stephen Pattison.

She added: “Pattison was contacted and conceded he was the driver. He said he had borrowed the car after arguing with his partner because he wanted to get out of the house.

“He lost control of it at the roundabout, but insisted he wasn’t driving irresponsibly.”

Pattison, 36, of Harton Lane, South Shields, admitted driving while disqualified, without due care and attention, without insurance, and failing to stop and report an accident on November 6.

Taylor, 29, of Hylton Avenue, South Shields, admitted obstructing a police officer in the execution of his duty on November 10.

Defending Taylor, Joanne Gaetens said: “Mr Taylor didn’t know his friend was a disqualified driver when he lent him the car.”

Defending Pattison, Ms Gaetens said: “There is no suggestion he was driving while drunk or dangerously. It was raining heavily that night, and the roads were very slippery.

“The incident has already left him £8,500 out of pocket, the money he now owes for the BMW.

The magistrates sentenced Pattison to 12 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, banned him from driving for 12 months and ordered him to pay £200 costs.

Taylor was ordered to pay £195 in fines and costs.