She falsely reported her crashed BMW as stolen, but was caught out by her mobile phone

A woman who reported her crashed car as stolen was later found to have been in the vehicle at the time of the accident.

The BMW was spotted being driven recklessly and at high speed along Cemetery Road, Southport, before it swerved and crashed into a wall. A court heard this week how witnesses saw a man and a woman exit the vehicle and flee the scene following the incident at around 8.40pm on New year's Eve 2022.

Later that night, at 9.45pm, Natalie Cashen called 999 to report her car had been stolen, claiming she had left it parked on a street in Southport. The police seized the car for examination and sent a prosecution notice, but Cashen failed to respond, stating she never received the letter and didn't know who had been driving her car.

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DNA analysis from the driver's airbag revealed that Mohammad Haque had been behind the wheel, reports the ECHO. Haque, now 22 and residing at Sefton Street, Southport, was arrested and charged with two counts of disqualified driving, dangerous driving, failure to stop, and failure to report an accident.

He pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing and was sentenced to 14 months in prison and banned from driving for four and a half years. Mobile phone records showed that Cashen had been travelling in the area of the collision when it occurred and had been stationary at the time.

The records also revealed that she was miles away from where she claimed the car had been stolen when she reported it. DNA evidence also confirmed Cashen as the front seat passenger.

Cashen, now aged 26 and from Rainworth Drive, Southport, faced charges for perverting the course of justice after wrongly reporting her car stolen. She admitted guilt and was given an eight-month prison sentence on Thursday (May 30), which has been suspended for one year.

She was instructed to undergo 20 days rehabilitation activity and fulfil 20 hours of unpaid work, in addition to paying £500 in costs.

Roads Policing Inspector Carl McNulty said: "Cashen clearly thought she could avoid justice by falsely reporting her car had been stolen when in fact she was the front seat passenger and knew who the driver was on that evening. Thankfully no innocent people were injured when the car crashed into the wall but obviously this could have had far more serious consequences.

"It is only thanks to the suspicions and the commendable work of the investigating officer that we were able to prove Cashen was attempting to pervert the course of justice. I hope this serves as a lesson to any other driver who attempts to evade justice and hinder a police investigation in such a manner that we will pursue and prosecute them."