Teen jailed for lying to police after woman died in collision
A TEENAGER has been jailed for lying to police following a collision in Cardiff which killed a young woman.
Lewis Hall, 18, was sentenced at Cardiff Crown Court after pleading guilty to intending to pervert the course of justice in relation to the fatal collision in the early hours of August 22.
Judge Thomas Crowther QC told the defendant: “This lie served to distract rather than divert the investigation.”
Sophie Taylor, from Llandaff, was 22 when she died following the incident on Meteor Street.
Prosecutors said she had been in a relationship for about a month with Michael Wheeler.
The 22-year-old from Harlech Road in Rumney has admitted causing death by dangerous driving and causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
Prosecutor Matthew Cobb said the pair shared an interest in motorbikes and Wheeler persuaded Ms Taylor to take out a loan to buy him an off-road motorbike.
But he avoided her the next day and she realised she had been “conned”.
Mr Cobb said this led to “hostility” between the pair, as Wheeler avoided all contact, which led to a car chase through the city – from Rover Way, through Splott to Newport Road on August 22.
Prosecutors said Hall was not involved in the chase, but received a call from his friend, Wheeler’s sister Lisa, saying there had been a collision.
He went to the scene – which had been cordoned off by police – with other friends and met Wheeler.
After being arrested, Wheeler admitted being behind the wheel but initially denied responsibility for the collision.
Hall was interviewed the next day and told police he had been with Wheeler all evening, driving around Cardiff Bay and Newport Road as a passenger in his car.
He told officers there was “nothing untoward” about his friend’s driving and when he was shown CCTV, claimed the driving looked worse than it felt.
Mr Cobb said: “He was plainly evasive and unclear.”
Hall claimed he had little recollection of the detail of events, as he had been looking at his phone to find music.
Prosecutors said he was warned about the consequences of lying and asked for a break, but returned to confirm his account was true.
Hall asked for another interview eight days later on September 1 and admitted he had lied in his previous interviews.
He claimed it had been Wheeler’s idea to lie and said he did not appreciate how serious the collision had been.
Jonathan Rees, defending, stressed his client had no previous convictions and said the offending was “entirely out of character”.
He drew the judge’s attention to a series of character references, including from college tutors, and said a report from the Probation Service suggested Hall presented a low risk of reoffending.
Mr Rees argued the lies had “very little effect” on the police investigation, as officers were sceptical from the outset, and stressed his client returned to set the record straight “of his own volition”.
Hall, from Whitmuir Road, Tremorfa, Cardiff, was jailed for two months for intending to pervert the course of justice.