Drink driver claimed he had been victim of 'crash for cash' scam in Burnley

A driver who crashed into the back of a taxi in the early hours claimed he was the victim of a "crash for cash job" a court heard.

Thursday, 21st March 2019, 2:21 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st March 2019, 3:28 pm
Burnley Magistrates' Court
Burnley Magistrates' Court

David Altham told police the cab driver had "slammed on" in front of him and said: "I know his type. It's a set-up, this is."

The 33-year-old blew more than double the drink- drive limit at the roadside after the collision in Burnley and almost twice the limit at the police station. Altham, said to have left his mother's surprise 60th birthday bash as he was feeling sorry for himself, didn't provide a second specimen of breath at the station.

His solicitor, Daniel Frazer, who told the town's magistrates that he and Altham were close friends, described the defendant's comments as "unpleasant and unsavoury."

The solicitor said Altham had panicked and added: "He is certainly somebody I hold in high regard and I have never said that for any defendant before."

Prosecutor Tracy Yates told the court a police officer driving along Padiham Road at 1-24am came across a two vehicle collision. Two men were standing in the middle of the road and appeared to be arguing.

The taxi driver, an Asian man, told police: "He's just driven into the back of me. I think he's been drinking."

The prosecutor said Altham gave a sample showing 76 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath at the roadside. The legal limit is 35. He failed to provide a specimen at the police station.

Mr Frazer told the hearing Altham gave a sample with a reading of 65 microgrammes at the police station. The lawyer continued: "He tried on three or four occasions to provide a specimen. He didn't refuse. He failed. He said he would give blood."

Altham, of Northwood Close, Burnley, admitted failing to provide a specimen for analysis, on March 3rd.

He was fined £250, with a £30 victim surcharge and £85 costs. The defendant was banned for a year by the Bench, who said they didn't believe the offence was deliberate and had taken into account the defendant's "exemplary character."