Drunk driver lied to police over crash

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A drink driver from St Helens who fled the scene after crashing his car into a house brazenly tried to trick police into believing his car had been stolen.

Christian Ince continued to maintain his innocence, despite changing his story, until DNA evidence proved that specks of saliva found on the airbag of his Mazda were a perfect match.

Wigan Magistrates’ Court heard how Diane Rushworth and her family were awoken by an almighty bang at about 3.30am on April 20.

When she looked out of the bedroom window she saw that a car had smashed into the front of her house.

Katie Beattie, prosecuting, told how the impact was so great that windows both downstairs and upstairs were smashed along with the front door, an internal wall and the dividing wall between Mrs Rushworth’s house and her neighbour’s home.

A building inspector had to be called to check it was safe to remove the car.

Another witness told how she saw a drunk man staggering away from the scene in Twist Lane, Leigh, less than four minutes after the crash.

Police sent a dog handler and deployed the force helicopter in a bid to track down Ince, but found no trace of him.

But less than 12 hours later the defendant, who works at the Scott Clinic in Rainhill, contacted the police to report his car stolen.

Mr Halliwell, defending, said Ince, of Wilson Close, St Helens, had since turned his life around and would be likely to lose his job if he was given a custodial sentence.

He was given a 12-week jail sentence - suspended for 12 months - and was banned from driving for two years. He was also ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid work.