A police officer who ‘persuaded’ his ‘brazen’ wife to twice take points for speeding when he was actually the driver has been jailed for six months.
Mark Hinchcliffe, 43, who had worked for West Yorkshire Police for 18 years, was caught speeding twice between April and June 2021.
But on both occasions his wife Lisa Hinchcliffe, who had worked for the force in a civilian role for 17 years, said she was driving.
Bradford Crown Court heard how Hinchcliffe, who was a Leeds-based PC, had five points on his license at the time of the offenses and feared for his job if he received a driving ban.
Mark Hinchcliffe, who had worked for West Yorkshire Police for 18 years, was caught speeding twice between April and June 2021 but persuaded his wife Lisa to take the points
Bradford Crown Court heard how Hinchcliffe, 43, already had five points on his license and feared for his job if he received a driving ban. He has now been imprisoned for six months
Ms Hinchcliffe, 38, told police she was driving the family’s Volkswagen Passat when it was clocked at 37mph in a 30 zone on April 30.
She was offered a driving awareness course, which she accepted.
And when their Renault Megane was clocked doing 36 on the same stretch of road on June 1, she again told police she was behind the wheel.
But after the case was investigated, it was revealed that a male driver was pictured on both cars each time.
The court heard Mr Hinchcliffe was identified as the driver by a police officer and the couple, who have two young children, were arrested.
The couple had exchanged messages in which Ms Hinchliffe offered to take the points for her husband, we heard.
Lisa Hinchcliffe, 38, falsely told police she was driving the family’s Volkswagen Passat when it was clocked at 37mph in a 30 zone on April 30, 2021
And in what the judge called a “brazen” act, she discussed taking the awareness course with other family members in WhatsApp chats.
They both admitted two counts of perverting the course of justice at a previous hearing and were sentenced today.
Mr Hinchcliffe was jailed for six months and banned from driving for 15 months, while his wife received a four-month sentence, suspended for two years.
The court heard that they had both resigned from their positions in the police force since their arrest.
Judge Jonathan Rose told them, “Your case is a perfect example of a couple who thought they could try it and get away with it.
“A respected police officer, held in high esteem… A loving mother, caring for two young children.
“That’s why you did it, because you thought you could get away with it.” Those charged with these offenses are not like you. You were wrong.’
The judge said he accepted that jail was probably an unpleasant experience for a former police officer.
But he told Mr Hinchcliffe: ‘Every time a policeman undermines the course of justice, it brings down the name of the police.
The court heard Ms Hinchcliffe cared for her elderly father who had been diagnosed with cancer and their children, aged 8 and 12.
Judge Rose told Ms Hinchcliffe that she had not thought of her children when she committed the offences.
But he was thinking of them when he suspended his sentence because he could not “in good conscience” immediately send him to prison.
He said to her, “You weren’t soft to the touch, it seems. You played your role, you discussed it with your husband, you researched it on the internet.
“You approached this very carefully.
“Your punishment began the day you were arrested…it continues now after seeing your husband arrested.”
Ms Hinchcliffe was also banned from driving for 12 weeks and ordered to perform 200 hours of unpaid work.
Speaking after the sentencing, Detective Chief Superintendent Nicola Bryar, of the West Yorkshire Police Professional Standards Branch, said: ‘Police and the public rightly expect our officers and our staff obey the law.
“Mark Hinchliffe not only committed criminal offenses in the first place while speeding, but when caught he, alongside his wife Lisa, knowingly attempted to affect the criminal justice process.
“Honesty and integrity are core values of the police service.
“Both defendants were employees of West Yorkshire Police at the time of the offenses but have since resigned from their positions.”
The force said the couple are now being investigated for misconduct to determine whether they should be banned from working for the police in the future.