A DRIVER who falsely claimed his car had been stolen after he ploughed into a pedestrian has been spared jail.
Robert Brooke was behind the wheel of his Renault Clio motor when it hit a man in Silksworth, Sunderland, last April.
Newcastle Crown Court heard the 49-year-old arranged to have the vehicle burnt out after the accident and claimed the car had been stolen.
He later confessed to police he had accidently hit the man, who made no complaint to police, while out searching for his son during a disturbance outside the town’s ski slope.
Brooke, of Halesworth Drive, Sunderland, admitted perverting the course of justice and failing to stop after an accident.
Prosecutor Nicholas Lane told the court: “He said when he got to the ski slope he saw his son, already there, arguing with some man.
“He said as he approached the ski slope entrance a silver car started driving towards him, in the middle of the road. He said he attempted to move the Clio and at this point someone ran into the road.
“He swerved to miss this person and in doing so struck another male.
“He accepted reporting the vehicle stolen when he knew it had not been.
“He arranged for the vehicle to be burnt out and that had been done by another male.”
Jamie Adams, defending, said Brooke made the “silly decision” through panic, but confessed to the police as soon as he was confronted.
Judge Deborah Sherwin sentenced Brooke to six months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with 120 hours unpaid work, a £200 fine and five penalty points on his licence.