'I told my chauffeur to speed because I was having sex in my Rolls Royce'
London - After leading police on a frenetic chase in his £405 000 (about R8,3 million) Rolls-Royce Phantom, a businessman gave officers a rather creative excuse.
Maurice ‘Fred’ Sines, 57, said he had ordered his chauffeur not to stop because he was having sex in the back seat with a woman who was not his wife – and did not want to be caught, a judge heard.
Sines, who owns a string of caravan parks, was in fact behind the wheel.
Police had followed him from a PGA golf tournament as he drove erratically through the expensive Wentworth Estate in Surrey.
Sines drove on the wrong side of the road, went the wrong way around a roundabout, hit speeds of 60mph on 30mph roads, and narrowly avoided a head-on crash. The pursuit ended due to problems with a police radio. The Rolls was later found abandoned nearby.
When officers finally caught up with Sines, he admitted he was in the car but claimed he had told his chauffeur to keep driving as he had "a bird in the back".
He said he didn’t want to be caught because he had recently got back together with his wife.
However, when his case came to trial, he was shown CCTV footage of him getting into the car at the golf tournament. He admitted he had been driving while disqualified and changed his plea to guilty.
On Tuesday, Sines was handed an eight-month jail sentence, suspended for two years, for dangerous driving. He was banned from the roads for two years.
Sines, who is classed as being "linked to a larger organised crime network" by Ireland’s Criminal Assets Bureau, had faced up to two years behind bars following the chase in May 2018.
There had been complaints about his behaviour earlier in the day at the golf tournament and police arrived to see him leaving, Guildford Crown Court heard.
Officers then drove to his house, arriving as Sines pulled in. He spotted their car and "disappeared off at speed", Judge Robert Fraser said. He then abandoned the car and was collected by his family.
"You were denying you were driving and put forward what was clearly and utterly a false account," the judge continued.
"Obviously, you did plead guilty at an extremely late stage when you had seen that further CCTV, which made it perfectly clear to everyone else what you were saying about the identity of a driver was a lie."
The court heard how Sines would be severely affected by the sentence as he alone manages and supervises his caravan sites in the home counties. He also helps to care for his grandson, who needs to be fed through a tube following a colitis operation.
Stephen Pownall, mitigating, told the court: "The greatest punishment form is going to be his inability to drive a car for a significant period of time.
"He is a self-made man. He has, as you have seen, provided significant sums to charities and given of his time and his resources."
Sines said he no longer lived in the Wentworth Estate, previously home to Sir Bruce Forsyth, Sir Elton John, Sir Cliff Richard, golfer Thomas Bjorn, and the Sultan of Brunei, and now lives in a mobile home at his daughter’s house in Old Windsor, Berkshire. He took to the stand to express remorse, explaining that he had fled from officers because of an investigation into his finances by HMRC and police, which has now ended.
Sines said: "I really regret what I’ve done and embarrassed myself. I saw a police car with the sirens on behind me, I panicked."
The businessman was previously reported to be a close associate of Thomas ‘Bomber’ Kavanagh, an alleged boss of Ireland’s Kinahan crime gang. In 2011, Sines was banned from horseracing for 14 years after being found guilty of fixing several 2009 races.
On Tuesday Sines was also handed a three-month tagged curfew, and was ordered to pay a £5 000 penalty and £4 200 in court costs.
Judge Fraser told him: "You have been remarkably foolish for somebody of your years in life and experiences in life to have done what you did – that is an act of extreme foolhardiness and danger to other road users."Daily Mail