AS A hit-and-run victim lay dying in the road, the father of the driver who had hit him while on the phone to his girlfriend returned to the scene and tried to take the blame.
And at Warwick Crown Court Noah Fury, who was said to have acted out of ‘misguided parental love,’ was jailed for six months and banned from driving for two years.
Fury, 52, of Shilton Lane in Shilton at the time, had pleaded guilty to acts intended to pervert the course of justice following the fatal collision in April last year.
Earlier this year his son Matthew Fury, 21, also of Shilton Lane at the time, was jailed for two years for causing the death of 39-year-old father-of-three Leonard Gaskin.
Prosecutor Sharon Bahia said Mr Gaskin had been holding a torch as he was jogging along Coventry Road, Bulkington, at 9.45pm when he was hit by a BMW driven by Matthew Fury, who was on his phone to his girlfriend at the time.
Witnesses saw a man get out of a car further up the road, look back, and then get back in and drive off.
“Matthew Fury returned home and spoke to his father and mother, and remained there while the defendant and his wife returned to the scene,” said Miss Bahia.
Noah Fury was standing by the car, which had damage to it, when he was approached by a police officer who asked whether he had been driving it at the time.
He replied: “Yes, I’ve just been to Bulkington to get some milk. I was on my way home. I didn’t see anything, and the next thing there was a bang.”
Miss Bahia told the court: “He was distressed. The deceased and he had been living on the same site for some 30 years.”
Fury was arrested, but the police were suspicious, and later went to the family’s home where Matthew was also arrested.
When he was interviewed the next afternoon Matthew admitted he had been driving, and later Noah, unaware of his son’s confession, admitted lying about being the driver.
Tim Sapwell, defending, said Noah Fury had asked him to say: “We’ve known these people for 30 years as friends and neighbours, and we want them to know how sorry we are. I was not thinking straight when I spoke to the police at the scene. I am very sorry.”
And Mr Sapwell told the judge: “I have been doing this job for 19 years. Mr Fury is without doubt the most trepidatious and most obviously scared and remorseful person I’ve come across in that time.”
Arguing that the sentence could be suspended, he said Fury had been ‘visibly distressed and shocked’ at the scene.
“His intention to commit the offence was formed in an instant in response to a direct question. His motive was misguided parental love.”
He added Fury had moved his family away from the area to give space to the Gaskin family.
Judge Andrew Lockhart QC told Fury: “Your son arrived home in panic, and you sought to assist him in a misguided way.
“You decided, on the spur of the moment, actively to mislead the police enquiry.
“It is plain you were very upset, but you did not do anything to let the police know what the true position was.
“This was a serious offence of perverting the course of justice when there was an investigation into a death.
“There is no doubt you acted in a traumatic situation in panic, but that should have stopped very much sooner than it did.
“I accept what Mr Sapwell said about you expressing your remorse. But I find that where there has been a misleading statement made at the scene of a fatal road traffic collision, the public would want to know that is viewed so seriously that only an immediate custodial sentence is justified.”