Facebook plea lands driver in jail

A misguided social media post has resulted in a five-month jail sentence for a 32-year old man from Rotherham, South Yorkshire. 

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When Scott Woodburn was caught breaking the speed limit on the A61 Halifax Road in Sheffield in November 2011, he anticipated that the resulting penalty points would take him over the 12 point maximum, resulting in a driving ban. Instead, he advertised on Facebook for a volunteer to admit to the offence and take the penalty points. The offer – along with a £250 payment – was accepted by 26 year-old Daniel Baggaley from Sheffield. Baggaley, who does not hold a driving licence, in turn received an 11-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months and a 12-month supervision order when he admitted the same offence in June 2012.

Woodburn had refused to co-operate with the investigation, pleading guilty to perverting the course of justice only when the strength of police forensic evidence to prove that he was the driver, made continued denial impossible. He was also disqualified from driving when he appeared at Sheffield Crown Court last month.

A spokesperson for South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership said: 'Hopefully this case will send a warning to anyone who would consider anything so irresponsible. It is a crime to admit an offence on behalf of someone else. If someone approaches you to admit an offence on their behalf you should inform the police." The spokesperson continued "Woodburn showed no regard for anyone else. He was prepared to drive at excessive speed. Once caught, rather than changing the manner of his driving he selfishly paid to have someone else to take the blame so that he could continue behaving as before."

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