A SPEEDING driver who was caught speeding near Llandysul and on the M4 in Gloucestershire tried to pin his offending on a complete stranger.

Swansea Crown Court heard that a Volvo belonging to Harshad Pattni was caught doing 38mph on a 30mph limit section of the A484 near Llandysul on January 23, 2020.

Around two weeks later, on February 7, Pattni’s Volvo was caught doing 84mph on the eastbound M4 between junctions 20 and 19.

Following each of these incidents, Pattni was sent a notice of intended prosecution asking for details of who was driving his car.

On both occasions, Pattni gave the name of a Swedish software engineer living in London. Pattni also gave his date of birth and an address – although this was not his victim’s address – and the victim’s driving licence number.

The victim was prosecuted for the two different speeding offences, and, after not showing up at either hearing, was ordered to pay £1,200 and was banned from driving across the two offences.

Dean Pulling, prosecuting, said that because the court documents were being sent to a different address in London, the first the man heard about the offences was when bailiffs appeared at his address to recover the £1,200.

Mr Pulling said Avon and Somerset Police wrote to Pattni to double check the details he had entered were correct after not receiving a reply from the man.

“There’s no record I have seen the defendant replied,” Mr Pulling said.

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Pattni’s victim had to go through the courts to prove it wasn’t him in the car, providing evidence he was in a meeting in London at the time the Volvo was caught speeding in Llandysul.

Mr Pulling said he “had no idea” who the defendant was, and was forced to pay the £1,200 and then – after proving it wasn’t him – claim it back.

The investigation was handed back to the police in April last year, and Pattni was interviewed.

He was described as being “vague” in his account of who had been driving the car that was registered to him.

Pattni’s representatives then gave a statement to police saying that the defendant “admitted giving false details”, saying that he “panicked and had been unwell”.

Pattni, 43, of Dromey Gardens in Harrow, has no previous convictions.

Craig Jones, in mitigation, said Pattni appreciated the seriousness of the offences and expressed “genuine remorse” for his actions.

“These offences are very much out of character.”

Recorder Duncan Bould asked what could cause Pattni to try and put his offending on to a complete stranger.

“Desperation,” said Mr Jones, adding the defendant cared for his parents and aunt and feared he wouldn’t have been able to carry on doing that.

“There’s nothing to stop him caring for his parents if he’s got some points on his licence,” said Recorder Bould.

“It defies any kind of explanation.”

“It’s one of sheer panic,” Mr Jones said.

“I’m afraid I find that really difficult to accept. It may be the way he tried to rationalise it to himself, but this is not him blurting it out to a police officer,” said Recorder Bould. “These actions were deliberate.”

The court heard that Pattni had suffered from “a series of complex conditions” since 2015, for which he needed regular ongoing treatment. This, Recorder Bould said, was the sole reason the defendant avoided a prison sentence.

For each offence, Pattni was jailed for four months, suspended for 18 months. He was also banned from driving for two years.