Crash driver asked his girl to take rap
A HELSTON man who tried to cover up a car crash he caused, roped in family members to get him away from the scene and then lied to the police, has been jailed.
Jaymeen Vadgama, 29, of Truthall Barn, was jailed for ten months at Truro Crown Court on Friday after admitting to driving without due care and attention and perverting the course of justice.
Elaine Hobson, for the Crown Prosecution Service, told the court that Steven Dagger had been driving in Hayle on April 18 when he saw a Ford Transit van being driven by the defendant, coming straight at him on his side of the road.
She said: "The van was being driven extremely fast."
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Despite trying to avoid the van, it collided with Mr Dagger's car on Carnsew Road, causing him back and neck injuries which have left him unable to work and which still need physiotherapy.
Ms Hobson said after the accident Vadgama fled the scene and went to his partner's house where he tried to persuade her to say she had been driving.
She refused and later commented that he had smelt of alcohol.
He then involved his brother and father in the subterfuge, getting them to conceal him in their car and take him home to Helston.
He later reported his van as stolen and kept the ruse up through two police interviews – only coming clean in the third when it became clear there was considerable evidence against him.
Ms Hobson said the true circumstances came to light after weeks of police investigation found that a neighbour of Vadgama's partner had seen him turn up in the damaged van. Mobile phone evidence also put him in Hayle at the time of the accident.
Judge Christopher Harvey Clark, QC, said that Vadgama, who owns an alloy wheel refurbishment business, had a number of previous convictions for driving offences. These included reporting his vehicle as stolen after a crash in Swindon in 2009, driving while disqualified and drink-driving.
Paul Gallagher, for the defence, said Vadgama had tried to cover up his involvement in the April smash because "he was worried about losing his licence and worried about job issues".
He said: "(He) made the very wrong and foolish mistake to try to blame others for what happened."
Sentencing, Judge Harvey Clark said: "An aggravating circumstance was you were trying to avoid a conviction for driving with excess alcohol.
"You then roped in your brother and father and you spread lies; lies including claiming that your car had been stolen.
"That led to a very extensive and doubtless expensive police investigation to refute your lies."
Vadgama was jailed for ten months, banned from driving for a year and ordered to take a driving test before getting a new licence.