Grantham court: Neighbours fib to police about collision

Court news
Court news

A couple and their neighbour lied to police about the circumstances surrounding a collision in a Grantham car park, the court heard.

Leona and Vincent McCaffrey, and their neighbour Sandra Bullimore, all of Lime Tree Close, Fulbeck, appeared before Grantham magistrates charged with wilfully obsructing a constable in the execution of his duty.

Mrs McCaffrey was also charged with, and pleaded guilty to, being the driver of a vehicle involved in a road accident who failed to report it, driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence, and using a motor vehicle on a road or public place without third party insurance.

Prosecutor Daniel Paulson detailed how on September 19, provisional driving licence holder Mrs McCaffrey had driven her Motability vehicle from Fulbeck, under the supervision of her neighbour, Bullimore. Mr McCaffrey, who also only holds a provisional driving licence, was seated in the back of the car at the time.

However, on arriving at the Sankt Augustin retail park in Grantham, Bullimore was dropped off, beforeMrs McCaffrey proceeded to park the car.

As she did so, she bumped into another vehicle. The couple left a note with their details on the damaged vehicle’s windscreen, but Mrs McCaffrey failed to report the incident to police.

When an officer then attended the couple’s address, he was told that Bullimore had been in the car at the time of the accident, by both the couple and their neighbour, which upon further investigation police determined was not the case.

Subsequently, all three were charged with obsructing a constable in the execution of his duty.

Bullimore appeared first before magistrates on Monday, represented by Chris Pye-Smith. “She has never been in trouble at all before,” he argued, and requested that her case be adjourned for four weeks to enable police to consider whether a caution would be more appropriate.

Magistrates agreed this was the best course of action, and unless Bullimore receives a police caution in the meantime, she will next appear in court on June 6.

The court heard further details on the McCaffreys from Rob Arthur, who defended both.

He described the collision between the two vechiles as a ‘minor impact’ and stressed that the couple had tried to make amends by leaving the note on the windscreen, complete with their details.

“That’s what they believed they were required to do,” said Mr Arthur, “Lots of people fall foul of failure to report, as they don’t realise that they need to do so as soon as possible.”

In relation to the obstruct police charge, committed on the following day, Mr Arthur said: “All three of them panicked when the police came knocking.”

Mr Arthur then detailed Mrs McCaffrey’s various medical conditions, including arthritis of the neck, spine and knees, diabetes, high blood pressure, a slipped disc in her lower back, insomnia and depression.

As a result she relies on her Motability vehicle to get about, while her husband also suffers from mental health problems following a severe blow to the head several years ago.

Mr McCaffrey pleaded guilty to his single charge of obstructing a constable, and must pay a £40 fine, £85 in prosecution costs and a £20 victim surcharge.

Mrs McCaffrey pleaded guilty to all four charges put to her. For the no insurance, her licence was endorsed with six penalty points and she was fined £120.

For obstructing the Pc she was fined £40, for failure to report, her licence was endorsed, while no separate penalty was made for driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence.

She must also pay £85 in costs and a £20 victim surcharge.