A ‘respected’ police officer ‘persuaded’ his wife to take his speeding points twice because he thought he could ‘get away with it’.
Mark Hinchliffe, who had worked for West Yorkshire Police for 18 years and was held in ‘high esteem’, was caught speeding twice between April and June 2021.
But on both occasions, his wife Lisa Hinchliffe, who had also worked for the force in a civilian role for 17 years, said she was driving.
After the case was investigated, Mr Hinchliffe was identified as the driver and the couple were arrested.
Jailing Mr Hinchliffe for six months, Judge Jonathan Rose told him: “Every time a police officer undermines the course of justice, it brings down the name of the police force.”
He added: “Your case is a perfect example of a couple who thought they could try it on and get away with it.
“A respected police officer, held in high esteem... A loving mum, caring for two young children. That’s why you did it... because you thought you could get away with it.”
Bradford Crown Court heard how Mrs Hinchliffe, 38, told police she was driving the family’s Volkswagen Passat when it was clocked doing 37mph in a 30mph zone on April 30. She accepted the offer of a driver awareness course.
When their Renault Megane was clocked doing 36mph on the same stretch of road on June 1, she again told police she was behind the wheel.
The court heard how Mr Hinchliffe, 43, had five points on his licence at the time of the offences and feared for his job if he received a driving ban.
The couple then exchanged messages in which Mrs Hinchliffe offered to take the points for her husband.
She even discussed taking the awareness course with other family members in WhatsApp conversations, in what the judge called a “brazen” act.
Both defendents admitted two counts of perverted at a previous hearing and were sentenced on Wednesday.
Mr Hinchliffe was jailed for six months and banned for driving for 15 months. The judge said he accepted that prison would likely be an unpleasant experience for a former police officer.
But he added that a prison sentence “has to be the outcome”.
“It may have been the simple matter of you persuading your wife,” he said. "You may have got away with it had it not been for the authorities that investigate these things.
"You did it once, you got away with it. You were emboldened then, you thought this is easy, that encouraged you to do it again.
"You thought the way a police officer should not think - ‘I’ve got away with it once, I can get away with it again’.”
His wife was given a four month sentence, suspended for two years.
Judge Rose said he could not “in good conscience” send her to prison immediately, but added: “You were no soft touch it would seem. You played your role.”
Mrs Hinchliffe was also banned from driving for 12 weeks and ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.
Both resigned from their roles within the police force since their arrest.
Detective chief superintendent Nicola Bryar of West Yorkshire Police’s professional standards directorate said: “Mark Hinchliffe not only committed criminal offences in the first place by speeding, but when caught he has, alongside his wife Lisa, knowingly tried to affect the criminal justice process.
“Honesty and integrity are fundamental values of the police service.”
The couple now face a misconduct probe to consider whether they should be barred from working for the police in future.