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News Story 17. News Headlines.
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This Article was written by Jaya Narain: it was publish in Britain on 15th. October, 2005... by 'The Daily Mail'. 
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Massive bill and criminal records for couple who tried to avoid 120 speeding fine with tale about a Bulgarian.
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When a professional middle-class couple faced 120 in fines for speeding, they went a long way to avoid prosecution... 1,400 miles to Bulgaria.  In a bizarre deception plan, chartered surveyors Stewart and Cathryn Bromley claimed they had not been driving their Mercedes when it was caught on camera.
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Instead, they said, an employee had been at the wheel... and had since returned to his native Bulgaria.  To back up the ruse, Cathryn Bromley even flew out to Bulgaria at a cost of 500 and sent a postcard to her husband purporting to be from the supposed employee... in which the car was mentioned.
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But their elaborate plot was exposed... and instead of walking away with a 120 fine, the Bromleys have ended up with an 11,000 penalty and criminal records after admitting perverting the course of justice.
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The couple are thought to have concocted the story because they feared either could be banned from driving if they admitted speeding... which would have put between 6 and 12 penalty points on a licence.  The saga started in January when their blue Mercedes CDi was twice clocked by a fixed speed camera not far from their home in Hyde, near Stockport.  
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Cathryn Bromley already had 3 points on her licence and her husband had 5 points... although their points expired in July.  Instead of paying the two 60 fines, $3-year-old Stewart Bromley wrote on his Notice of Intended Prosecution that neither he nor his wife had been at the wheel of the car.
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He claimed the driver was Konstantin Koscov, an ex-employee who had returned to his home in Bulgaria.  Cathryn Bromley, 42, then flew to Bulgaria, where she sent a postcard to her husband purporting to be from Koscov.  
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In it she wrote... 'Many thanks for the opportunity to work in your office.  I enjoyed the experience and would gladly return the favour, unfortunately my car is no where as good as yours, but it will get you about!  Many thanks again and look forward to my next trip.  Regards, Konstantin Koscov.'
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'Elaborate and dishonest'

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The couple, who have a young son, thought the 'evidence' of the postcard would settle the matter.  But they reckoned without the tenacity of PC Mark Beales, who became suspicious and decided to investigate further.  The 42-year-old officer contacted Interpol and the British embassy in the Bulgarian capital Sofia in an attempt to track down Konstantin Koscov.
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After investigators said they could find no trace of the mysterious Bulgarian... who was totally fictitious... the Bromley eventually admitted making up the story.  At Manchester Crown Court, the couple... who run Bromley Associates chartered surveyors... were fined 9,200 with 1,900 costs after admitting two counts of perverting the course of justice.
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Sentencing them, Judge Bernard Lever said: 'The best place to hit people like these is in their pockets.  Had they not pleaded guilty, I would have almost certainly sent them to prison.'  
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Yesterday PC Beales said: 'It was the language used in the postcard that alerted me, because it didn't seem plausible.  But it is the most bizarre case I have ever come across.  The extremes of dishonesty some people are willing to go to escape a fine constantly amaze me and this is one of the most preposterous cases.  It was a very elaborate and dishonest attempt to escape paying a speeding fine.  I think the lie went so far that they almost believed it themselves.'
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The picture taken by the speed camera was not clear enough to identify the driver.  Because neither of the Bromleys has admitted being behind the wheel, the judge decided it was impossible to put points on their licences.  But the couple could face further punishment from their trade body, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.
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Members who break the law can be taken before a disciplinary panel which could impose a maximum 5,000 penalty for each offence and might decide to expel them.  A spokesman said: 'Members have a duty to tell us if they have committed a crime.'  The Bromleys refused to comment.
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Comment...
With violent crime continuing to rise... it seems almost unbelievable that the Authorities would devote some much time and effort to a couple of speeding tickets.  
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The officers comments... 'The extremes of dishonesty some people are willing to go to escape a fine constantly amaze me'.  Quite obviously their motivation was not escaping the 120 fine... but being banned from the road... an issue which is relevant to many people these days.
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Note... that neither admitted driving... and so escaped without getting more penalty points... which all goes to make the point... Having a bad memory is not a criminal offence... but lying is!
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