A DRIVER who was coined a “Walter Mitty-like character” by a judge after he conjured up a web of deceit for two years to dodge speeding tickets has been jailed.

Christopher Henry lied repeatedly to send officers on a “wild goose chase” by creating false names and addresses to avoid penalty points on his licence.

From claiming a Frenchman with the same name as a famous wax museum in Paris was driving, to doctoring documents, to blaming a second mystery man in the most northern part of the British Isles, Christopher Henry went to extreme lengths when caught speeding on two separate occasions in Hurstbourne Tarrant and on the M5.

However, a lengthy investigation by officers in Hampshire managed to track down Henry but he continued to protest his innocence throughout a trial at Winchester Crown Court in April, but a jury found him guilty in just 40 minutes.

On Wednesday, Henry was sentenced to 12 months in prison for three counts of trying to pervert the course of justice.

Prosecuting, Tom Horder said that the 52-year-old was caught speeding in his ex-wife’s yellow Land Rover Freelander on February 14, 2016, on the A343 Newbury Road near Hurstbourne Tarrant.

When the speeding ticket was sent to Henry’s ex-wife, who was then the registered owner of the Freelander, Henry was able to intercept the mail and completed the paperwork in her name, claiming a French man, living at his address, was the driver and the new owner.

Paperwork was sent to the French national, and these documents were returned claiming a man from the Isle of Lewis called George Harris was in fact the driver.

When officers could find no record of either man, they made contact with Interpol who found that the name of the French man was the same as that of a wax museum in Paris, and his address was a nearby hotel. Enquiries with the hotel showed that a Mr Musee had never stayed or worked there.

They then spoke to the post mistress on the Isle of Lewis, who had lived on the island her whole life and she knew nothing of a Mr Harris, Mr Musee or Christopher Henry.

Further investigations of the paperwork found Henry’s fingerprints and not those of his ex-wife were on the documents and that the Frenchman’s name had also been given to Avon and Somerset Police when an Audi TT registered to Henry was caught speeding on the M5 in August 2016.

Henry, of Church Road, Weston-on-the-Green, Oxfordshire, who consistently denied having driven or had any access to the Freelander, was then caught out when officers got voice recordings of him calling the AA out on two separate occasions when he broke down in the vehicle.

During the trial the court was given evidence showing how Henry had also provided false dates of sale to the DVLA, set up a false email address and doctored emails from insurers, all in an effort to cover his tracks.

Mr Horder said Henry’s lies were “sustained over a lengthy period of time” and were designed to mislead police.

But defending, Mark Ruffell said Henry had accepted what he had done whilst he had been remanded in prison awaiting sentence and had realised that he had acted foolishly.

He added: “Absolutely this case caused police a lot of running around on a wild goose chase, but it has not caused anyone else to be prosecuted as of course the names given were fictitious.”

The court heard that Henry’s girlfriend and ex-wife would likely face eviction if he was sent to prison as he is supporting both of them through his earnings.

Mr Ruffell added: “The consequences are immense. There are people who depend upon him and have been left high and dry in circumstances where they can’t do anything about it.”

In sentencing, Judge Andrew Barnett said Henry had not admitted what he had done and had denied the “bogus” claims until he was “blue in the face”.

He said: “That just all shows what a thoroughly dishonest person you are in persisting in this manner.”

He added that Henry had “fabricated and fantasised” as he attempted to “pull the wool over the authority's eyes”.

Speaking after the sentence, PC Richard Jewell said: “He [Henry] just ran us ragged with this lies and deceit, nothing that came from his mouth or computer was the truth.”

Henry did not respond to the original speeding notice and was prosecuted for failing to provide information. He was found guilty in his absence and fined £800 and given six points.

He appealed this but the case was upheld. The fine was raised to £1,600 and he was banned from driving for three months.