VIDEO: War veteran claimed deceased dad was driving after country road near-miss

A war veteran tried to claim his father was driving his car dangerously on a country lane, despite having died the week before, a court was told.

By Nick Frame
Monday, 27th June 2022, 3:29 pm

Former Royal Marine Paul Anthony Strutt's Honda was caught on another driver's dashboard camera swerving on Went Lane near Purston Jaglin just after 5pm on April 6 last year, and was on the wrong side of the road before missing an oncoming Mini by a matter of inches.

The shocking footage was sent to police and played to Leeds Crown Court this morning.

Prosecuting, Robert Galley said the 55-year-old was sent letters by the police asking to confirm the driver, and Strutt sent them his father's death certificate which bore a different date to when he passed away, which was in fact March 31.

The Honda nearly hit the oncoming Mini.

Strutt then went on to claim it could have been his friend who was driving, and stated it could not have been himself as he was working in Doncaster at the time before supplying a document to confirm that.

It later transpired the document was false, and that Strutt was working in a different location and did not start until 6pm that day. Telephone mast data also showed his mobile was in the Went Lane area at the time of the incident.

After being quizzed by police, he then said he was confused and did not know where he was working and was "in pieces" over his father's recent death.

Strutt, of Kinsley House Crescent, Fitzwilliam, later admitted a charge of dangerous driving and intending to pervert the course of justice.

Mitigating, Andrew Stranex, said: "He described the period of March to July and August as being pretty much a blur.

"He said he just went to pieces. He was simply not thinking straight.

"His father was desperately ill. His finances were very complicated and it was left to Mr Strutt to organise the consequences of his father's passing."

The court learned Strutt served in the Marines for 20 years, having fought in war zones in Iraq, before being discharged in 2005.

He went on to work as a private security officer in the Middle East in which was nearly killed.

Since 2012 he had worked as a freelance security guard in the UK, but now worked as a warehouse operative for Next.

Months after the dangerous driving on Went Lane, he was banned from the road for drink driving and then later for driving while disqualified.

Mr Stranex said that although Strutt had not sought help from his doctor, it was likely he was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Mr Stranex added: "He accessed a well-being service last year to come to terms with the difficulties he has faced. He is utterly ashamed of where he is at the moment."

The judge, Recorder Marco Giuliani, accepted Strutt has PTSD and was "living in a fog" after his father's death.

He said: "Up until last year you were a man of exemplary character who had served his country.

"It's clear you were having difficulties coming to terms with the death of your father.

"In that you were effectively having a mental breakdown at the time, the sentence can be suspended."

He handed him an eight-month jail term, suspended for two years, gave him 300 hours of unpaid work and banned him from the road for 12 months.