A WARWICK mother-of-two’s brakes failed as she approached a busy roundabout in the town – after her vengeful ex-partner had cut the brake pipe on her car.
David Walker then concocted a false alibi by presenting the police with ‘evidence’ that a friend had been using his car on the night he drove to Warwick to carry out the sabotage.
The 32 year-old of Brendon Way, Nuneaton, pleaded not guilty at Warwick Crown Court to damaging his ex-partner’s Peugeot 307 with intent to endanger life.
But on the day he was due to stand trial at Coventry Crown Court, he pleaded guilty to an alternative charge of causing the damage being reckless whether life would be endangered.
Walker, who had earlier pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice, was jailed for a total of three years.
Prosecutor William Dudley said Walker and the woman had been in a relationship for some time, and had two children together who were aged one and three at the time.
After the relationship broke down, they remained in touch to arrange contact with the children.
But in the period leading up to him attacking her car, there had been ‘some concerning behaviour’ in which her fence was set on fire and her cable TV had been cut, although there was no evidence to link Walker to those acts.
Mr Dudley said in August 2014 the mother was planning to take the children on holiday to France in her car, so took it to Leamington for a service, during which some work was done on the brakes.
She used the car the following day without any problem, but the next day she was out in the car when she noticed the brakes ‘did not seem quite right.’
Assuming it was something resulting from the service, she decided to take it back to the garage on the Monday.
But as she continued on her way home, she noticed the brakes seemed to be getting worse – and at the roundabout by Warwick library, they failed completely.
Mr Dudley said: “Fortunately there was no collision, and she was able to get the car back home.
“When a technician looked into the problem he established the problem was an absence of brake fluid. The rear nearside brake line had a clean separation, indicating it had been cut, rendering the brake system useless.”
He added once that ‘sinister aspect’ had been discovered, the police were informed and Walker was arrested.
When he was first questioned he said he was at home on the night the brake pipe had been cut, and had not gone out apart from popping to the garage.
But when he was questioned again after an ANPR camera had captured his car on a road leading to Warwick, he turned up with a diary in which he had recorded for that night ‘Jock using car.’ That was quickly disproved and Walker later admitted he had been trying to provide a false alibi.
Lee Masters, defending, said Walker had successfully completed a community order imposed two years ago for harassment of his ex-partner.
Judge Philip Gregory, who jailed Walker for two-and-a-half years for damaging the car, with six months consecutive for perverting the course of justice, told him the offences were too serious for anything other than immediate imprisonment.
He also imposed a restraining order banning Walker from going to his ex-partner’s home or from contacting her for five years.