Motorist who blamed dying wife for speeding tickets labelled ‘callous’ by police

Dave Higgens, PA
·2-min read

A businessman who tried to avoid more than a dozen speeding tickets by blaming his dying wife and elderly members of his family has been called “callous” by police after he was given a suspended prison sentence.

Andrew Laird, 51, of Fryton, near Malton, North Yorkshire, was prosecuted after he received 16 speeding tickets from a number of police forces.

North Yorkshire Police said Laird claimed he was not behind the wheel on any of these occasions.

He said others were behind the wheel, including his wife, who was unable to drive at the time due to a very serious illness and has since died, a force spokesman said.

Laird pretended two other family members were driving on other occasions, including one elderly relative who was also unable to drive due to a serious medical condition.

The spokesman said the defendant went as far as renewing the elderly relative’s driving licence in 2018, despite their medical condition having prevented them from driving for a number of years.

Laird admitted 16 counts of perverting the course of justice and one of fraud, committed between 2015 and 2018, and was sentenced at York Crown Court on Friday.

The Recorder of York, Judge Sean Morris, jailed him for two years, suspended for 12 months, court officials confirmed.

But Laird avoided disqualification due to exceptional circumstances, after the judge heard he had been through a difficult time.

The convictions mean he can no longer work as a financial adviser, which was one of his business interests, the police said.

Detective Sergeant Kirsten Aldridge said: “It’s sickening that Laird deliberately targeted the most vulnerable members of his family – those who could not speak up for themselves. We hope this has given them a voice.

“The court heard how Laird had been going through a difficult time, but nevertheless his actions were callous and calculated.

“It’s difficult to imagine how anyone with morals could implicate vulnerable loved ones in this way.

“Laird was put before the courts as a result of a significant police investigation. And while it’s disappointing that his conviction for these serious offences did not result in a custodial sentence today, this case speaks volumes about the defendant.”