Telematics convicts hit and run driver

Evidence provided by a telematics device has resulted in a suspended prison sentence for a motorist who ploughed into a pedestrian walking home from a Christmas celebration on 12 December last year, says anti-motor fraud unit, APU Ltd.

The driver, Nicholas Regan, 24, of Bushy Mead, Basildon, admitted hitting Giuseppe Tocco, from Billericay, as well as perverting the course of justice after he failed to stop after the incident and later denied responsibility. Other charges included failing to report an accident.

He told police the courtesy car involved in the crash, which caused Mr Tocco serious brain injuries, had been stolen and was not being driven by him at the time, heard Basildon Crown Court. Regan kept up the pretence for 10 months even when strong evidence suggested he was guilty.

Despite Regan’s lies, the police turned to the investigations team at APU Ltd which was able to review the vehicle’s telematics system. The data provided unequivocal evidence that he was the driver at the time of the accident. He finally pleaded guilty to the charges.

Together, APU Ltd and the police used the advanced In-Car Cleverness telematics device installed in the vehicle to trace the exact movements and speed of the BMW Regan was driving before and after the incident.

Following the sentence, Mrs Tocco said, ‘We think the police did an amazing job – that’s the only reason it went to court, and otherwise he wouldn’t have pleaded guilty.’

Data from telematics systems and other highly effective covert technology is being used increasingly to fight motor fraud and combat dangerous or dishonest drivers.

Neil Thomas, director of investigative services at APU Ltd said, ‘This is a great result for Mr Tocco and his family, but also for the police and APU, who’ve been able to present evidence which eventually led to a guilty plea by Regan after months of denials.’

‘When the police and the private sector work together, the results can be outstanding – APU has the resources and specialist knowledge which can help the police, insurers, company fleets and individual motorists protect their assets and gain justice if they’ve been a victim of motor crime.’

A passer-by who came across Mr Tocco in Perry Street, Billericay, looked after him until an ambulance arrived. Regan had already sped off and dumped the white BMW he was driving.

Regan also received 200 hours of unpaid work and an 18-month driving ban alongside his prison nine-month sentence, suspended for 18 months.

APU recently helped the National Crime Agency (NCA) break up an international car crime syndicate based in Uganda, Africa. And previously, APU identified the emerging ‘flash for crash’ tactic, in which gangs flash headlights to beckon innocent drivers out of junctions, before deliberately crashing into them.