Three men jailed in Chris Huhne-style speeding points scam

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THREE men are behind bars over a speeding points scam which mirrored the case of disgraced former cabinet minister Chris Huhne.

Andrew Grainger asked his nephew Kenneth Grainger if he knew anyone who would be willing to accept points on their licence in exchange for cash, after he was caught speeding in Sunderland on March 27 last year.

Newcastle Crown Court heard pal Graham McDermott agreed to pretend he had been driving the motorbike, which was clocked doing 37mph in a 30mph zone in Sunderland, and submitted a false confession to magistrates.

He was paid £170 in exchange.

But the court heard their scam was uncovered when the men fell out over the £500 fine later imposed on McDermott, which none of them had been expecting.

It was after the bailiffs turned up at McDermott’s door demanding the unpaid fine, he sent a letter to magistrates admitting what they had done.

Andrew Grainger, 50, of Raynham Court, South Shields, Kenneth Grainger, 32, of Hollin Hill Road, Concord, Washington, and Graham McDermott, 41, Hollin Hill Road, Washington, admitted perverting the course of justice.

Judge James Goss jailed them each for three months.

He said the resemblance to the case which saw former MP Chris Huhne and his wife Vicky Pryce – both jailed on Monday for perverting the course of justice in 2003 – was “just remarkable.”

He added: “It strikes at the very heart of the justice system.

“As is well known, and should be well known, people who enter into agreements to pervert the course of justice, particularly in relation to speeding or motoring offences, in general, are entering on to very thin ice and can expect to receive custodial sentences.

“It has to be known, those who engage in offences of this kind are going to receive sentences of imprisonment.”

Defence barristers said none of the three men appreciated the seriousness of what they had done and none of them have been to prison before.