Devon man pleads guilty to faking GPS data

07/12/2010

A speeding motorist who tried to beat the system by amending the information in his GPS device has pleaded guilty to Perverting the course of justice.

At 11.16 on 1 June 2009 Shaun Richards, 50, triggered a mobile safety camera device on the A386 at Sourton recording a speed of 54mph where the speed limit is 40mph.

Richards denied the offence then embarked on a sophisticated attempt to deceive the court into believing he was not exceeding the speed limit when he passed the camera.

Asking a friend who works in IT for help, he retrieved the data from the Garmin device installed in his car and attempted to change the data in order to deceive investigators.

Mr Richards did not realise that the data is stored in Universal Time Code, which is based on Greenwich Mean Time. As the offence took place during British Summer Time, which is an hour behind GMT, the reading on the device would have been 12.16. Following detailed analysis of the Garmin report, an expert witness employed by the police discovered that Richards was five miles away from the site of the incident at that time. Further investigation revealed that Richards duplicated the details from a journey he took on 9 February 2010.

David Gittins, Senior Crown Advocate said: "This is a landmark case for the CPS in Devon and Cornwall and we are extremely please with the outcome. We worked closely with Devon and Cornwall Constabulary throughout."

Richards is due to be sentenced at Plymouth Crown Court on 14 January 2011.