News

Teen got friend to hit him with a frying pan to make car theft look real

A teenager asked his friend to hit him in the face with a frying pan after crashing his car to convince police it had been stolen.

Alex Hobbs, 19, told police he had been assaulted and robbed of his Ford Fiesta when it was found flipped onto its roof and wrapped around a lampost.

He had actually crashed the car himself and later admitted to officers that he was the one driving and had lost control, crashing it just before 2am on May 11 last year.

The teenager, of Peterborough, fled the scene leaving his car upside down in the road. He was identified as the registered keeper of the car and officers visited his home but no one was in.

He was not at home when officers visited but he rang police at 8.30am the same day, claiming that he had been assaulted and had had his car stolen.

Officers visited him to take a statement regarding the alleged robbery but noted that he kept losing concentration. Hobbs then called his car insurance company and reiterated the claims his car had been stolen.

When police visited a second time that same day, Hobbs admitted driving the car and that the robbery claim was false.

He told them that he got a friend to hit him in the face with a pan to cause injury and make his story more believable.

Hobbs pleaded guilty at Cambridge Crown Court to fraud and an alternative charge of wasting police time.

DC Paddy Reeve said: ‘Hobbs’ desire to run away from the scene of an accident meant an innocent person could have been arrested for simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

‘It’s merely fortunate that did not happen.

‘Getting his friend to deliberately hit him in the face with a pan to cause injuries shows the extent to which Hobbs was willing to go with his lies.

‘It’s obvious that Hobbs made the false statements to the police and his insurance company to secure a successful insurance claim.

‘There is never any excuse for this behaviour and for wasting police time in such a way. I’m glad justice caught up with him.’

Hobbs was sentenced to a 12-month community order and ordered to carry out 60 hours of unpaid work. He was also disqualified from driving for six months.