AN ELECTRICIAN has been jailed for lying to the police about his involvement in a car crash in Basingstoke.

Officers found Andrew Mathely’s overturned car in Worting Road at 6am on November 3 last year, and quickly tracked him down to his home in Wiltshire Crescent, Buckskin.

But Mathely, 35, claimed his car had been stolen, despite him having visible injuries, Winchester Crown Court heard.

Tom Wright, prosecuting, said the officers became suspicious and managed to recover DNA from the deployed airbag of the car that matched Mathely. They also noticed a smell of alcohol inside the car.

The court heard that six weeks later, Mathely handed himself in to the police and admitted he had been driving the car at the time of the crash.

Mr Wright said: “When Mathely entered a guilty plea (to perverting the course of justice), there was a basis of plea that stated he was not misleading the police to avoid drink-driving charges.

“The view the Crown took was that basis of plea was not accepted but there was not sufficient evidence to challenge that.”

Nicholas Robinson, defending, said: “This defendant was involved in a serious accident and was not thinking straight.”

He said Mathely fled from his car because he thought he was not insured to drive, although the court heard he did have insurance.

Mr Robinson added Mathely would lose his job if imprisoned.

Judge Simon Foster accepted Mathely’s story that he ran because he thought he was not insured. But he said: “It was not a moment of madness – you persisted with the lie. All it needed was to let the police know the true position but you did not.

“The message has to go out that people who lie and maintain that lie cannot escape custody.”

He sentenced Mathely to three months in prison.