Mark Clarke was hired to fill in court papers naming himself as the driver even when the guilty party caught on camera was female
A ‘Mr Fixit’ who helped 14 motorists dodge speeding fines by claiming he was at the wheel in exchange for a £100 fee has been jailed for two years.
Banned motorist Mark Clarke was hired to fill in court papers naming himself as the driver even when the guilty party caught on camera was female.
But no red flags were raised despite the 34-year-old criminal from Leeds being disqualified until detectives discovered he had claimed to be the driver of 14 different cars reported for prosecution.
Clarke was found to be raking in cash by selling a points dodging service in which he would take the blame in return for £100 a ticket. He has now been jailed after pleading guilty to perverting the course of justice at Leeds Crown Court.
Carmel Pearson, prosecuting, said Clarke operated the scam between May 24 last year and March 1 this year.
West Yorkshire Police realised in March that Clarke’s names and details had been put on a number of keeper’s forms over the course of nine months.
Ms Pearson said: ‘They looked at CCTV and saw that on 14 separate occasions the individual keepers provided this defendant’s name.
Clarke was jailed for two years after pleading guilty to perverting the course of justice at Leeds Crown Court (file picture)
‘The footage was looked at and some of them were women and some of them were clearly not the defendant. He was attempting to take the points for these people.
‘Police went to see these individuals and thought was given to prosecuting them as well. Police and the Crown are now in negotiations about how to move forward.
‘It’s an offence that is apparently becoming more prevalent. He was a disqualified driver so it didn’t make a difference to him. The offences took place over a significant period of time. It was a concerted effort to pervert the course of justice.’
The court heard Clarke had initially been taking points for his friends but his Mr Fixit reputation spread. Clarke has five previous convictions for ten offences, including benefit fraud, theft and handling stolen goods.
Peter Byrne, defending, said Clarke’s ex-partner left him with their children ‘in the clothes they were stood in’ and he needed ‘quick and easy’ money.
He said Clarke co-operated with police, indicated that he would plead guilty when he appeared at Leeds Magistrates’ Court and has not offended since. The court was told his children no longer live with him.
Jailing Clarke for two years, Judge Neil Clark told him: ‘The court process is important. It has to be protected, otherwise it doesn’t work. In doing this, you were assisting people in getting away with their crimes..’
A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said: ‘Mark Clarke thought he could get away with it as he was already disqualified from driving at the time.
‘In court, he admitted that he was paid £100 to take responsibility for the speeding tickets. Ten out of the 14 people who he covered for have been dealt with for the original speeding offences.’