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Banned driver who lied to police after Longfield crash caught out by DNA evidence on airbag

PUBLISHED: 14:46 03 November 2016

James Banks

James Banks

Archant

The Hartley man has been given a three-and-a-half year jail sentence

A banned driver who lied to police that his car had been stolen following a crash in Longfield has been jailed after DNA evidence proved he had been at the wheel.

James Banks, of Manor Drive, Hartley, told police his Vauxhall Corsa had been stolen during a burglary at his home between July 9 and 10, alleging someone had reached through his letterbox and taken the car keys.

But officers investigating the incident found he had invented the crime to cover up the fact that he had been driving and involved in a collision while disqualified.

The 40-year-old had driven into a parked vehicle in Church Road, Hartley, at around 10.30pm on July 9, later leaving the scene and returning home before he reported his car stolen the next day.

Detectives arranged for forensic checks to be carried out on the Corsa and these showed Banks’ DNA on the driver’s airbag, which had activated during the collision.

The tests proved conclusively he had been at wheel and the burglary had been fabricated.

On November 1, Banks appeared at Maidstone Crown Court and pleaded guilty to counts of perverting the course of justice, driving whilst disqualified and using a vehicle without insurance.

He was sentenced to a total of 12 months’ imprisonment and disqualified from driving for three-and-a-half years.

Leading the investigation was detective constable Natalie Sammells, who said: “Banks wanted us to believe his car had been in a collision after it was stolen by burglars, but it didn’t take long to work out he had lied to cover up his own offences.

“We are committed to tackling domestic burglaries and Banks has wasted valuable police time which could have been put to better use investigating genuine crimes. It is therefore only right that he is now starting a prison sentence.”

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