The wife of a Northampton MP has been handed a suspended prison sentence and the couple’s son has been jailed after the pair admitted lying to cover up a drink-drive incident.
Jacqueline Binley, 50, said she was driving her son’s car after he crashed it when more than two times over the drink-drive limit. Last month, she and Matthew Binley, 27, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
Former policeman Matthew Binley, whose father Brian is Tory MP for Northampton South, also admitted drink-driving in the incident, which happened in Northampton in May last year.
Opening the case at Northampton Crown Court, prosecutor Piers Reed said Matthew Binley had been at a wedding on May 22 and was dropped off by a friend at his flat in Leicester Street, Northampton, at about 11.30pm.
Shortly after arriving home he decided to go to a nightclub with friends in the town centre and it was on his way home, in the early hours of May 23, that he crashed his Alfa Romeo into a kerb on Harbour Road and deflated a tyre.
Mr Reed said he called out a breakdown service to his vehicle and the recovery driver realised Binley was drunk and called police, who arrested him on suspicion of driving with excess alcohol.
The court heard Binley, who resigned from the police force before the incident happened, was found to have 86mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath – the drink-drive limit is 35mg/100ml. In police interview he claimed the accident had happened as he was on the way to the wedding reception when he was sober, but he returned to his car later on.
The court heard that on August 1 Jacqueline Binley, who is separated from Brian Binley and does not live with him, handed a statement in to police in Northampton claiming she was the driver of the car. It said she borrowed her son’s car that night then had the crash after she swerved to avoid hitting a fox while her son was in the car, and was then picked up by a passing taxi.
Mr Reed said subsequent police investigations involved a search of the 27-year-old’s bedroom at Brian Binley’s home, where they found a statement outlining his mother’s involvement in her own words – but in Matthew Binley’s handwriting. Matthew Binley eventually admitted lying in his first statement to police in order to protect his mother and father, Mr Reed added.
Matthew Binley was sentenced to four months in prison and a two-year disqualification from driving. Mrs Binley was given an eight-week prison sentence suspended for two years and ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work in the community.