Sunderland businesswoman jailed over speeding points scam fails to have prison term cut

Anne Ganley
Anne Ganley

A shamed Sunderland businesswoman who got others to accept her speeding points has failed to convince top judges her jail term is too tough.

Anne Ganley, of The Cedars, Ashbrooke, who was awarded an OBE for services to charity and business, experienced a dramatic 'fall from grace'.

The 60-year-old was the managing director of builders' merchants A. Thompson & Sons, Lord Justice McCombe told London's Appeal Court.

But she was also a 'serial' speeder, who had been banned from driving 'on at least one occasion'.

During a six-year period - from 2006 to 2012 - fixed penalty notices were issued in relation to her vehicle for speeding offences.

Desperate to keep her licence, the mum-of-three got others, including members of staff and her son, Brent Ganley, to say they had been driving.

Ganley admitted conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and was caged for two years and six months at Newcastle Crown Court on May 20.

The judge who jailed her said she was the 'leading light in the conspiracy'.

She 'behaved in a thoroughly dishonest way for a number of years' and 'brought down a number of employees and her son with her'.

Brent Ganley was put behind bars for nine months after being convicted of the same crime.

His mother's lawyers today argued that her jail term was far too harsh and ought to be cut.

She did not get enough credit for her guilty plea and her previous good character, they claimed.

They pointed to her contribution to both charitable causes and the community.

She had suffered a 'significant fall from grace', the court was told.

Lord Justice McCombe agreed that Ganley had otherwise led an 'exemplary life'.

But the judge, who was sitting with Mr Justice Fraser and Judge Peter Collier QC, said they 'profoundly disagreed' that her jail term was too tough.

He described it as an 'unusually serious example' of a type of crime that undermines the justice system.

"There is no ground on which it could be argued that your total sentence of 30 months imprisonment was wrong in principle or manifestly excessive," he concluded.