A MOTORCYCLIST tried to avoid speeding fines by claiming his registration plates had been cloned.

Hamed Mashayekh, 32, from Brunswick Square in Hove gave a false account to police about the offences, which were three days apart.

The first offence was on the seafront in Marine Parade in Brighton on September 14, 2019 at 46mph in a 30mph zone, while the other was on the A270 Old Shoreham Road in Hove on September 17 2019 at 39mph in the 30mph zone.

The mechanic told police he had not been on his motorbike and that the registration plates were cloned. He supplied photographs to the police which showed black tape around the number plate.

He also said he had been involved in an accident the previous month which left his motorbike not roadworthy.

However, it was revealed that the motorbike passed an MOT test just five days after the accident after undergoing repairs, with automatic number plate recognition cameras discovering that the vehicle had been ridden the day after the accident.

The rider was also spotted using the same distinctive crash helmet as the one on the day of the speeding offences and matched one seized by police.

Mashayekh sold his motorcycle after the speeding offences and when police checked with the new owner and removed the black tape, it was clearly the original number plate seen in the speed camera photographs.

He then pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice at Chichester Crown Court on February 17 and was sentenced to 100 hours of unpaid work and 20 rehabilitation activity requirement sessions as part of a 21-week suspended prison sentence.

He was also ordered to pay £1,500 in court costs, as well as a victim surcharge.

Following the conviction, investigating officer Christopher Raynor said: "Mashayekh went to great lengths to avoid the Notice of Intended Prosecution by inventing a story his bike had been cloned.

"To add credence to his story he altered the appearance of his number plate by putting black tape around it.

"This sentence shows that those who attempt to deceive the police and the courts will be caught and will face prosecution."

Mashayekh was convicted as part of Operation Pinocchio, launched by Sussex Police in 2016 with the aim of improving safety on Sussex's roads by prosecuting offenders who provide false information to avoid prosecution, and to prevent law-abiding motorists from committing criminal offences by attempting to avoid speeding or red light offences.

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