'Carnage' caused by drink-driver who told cops his car was stolen
A DRINK-DRIVER who smashed into three parked cars tried to avoid arrest by telling police his vehicle had been stolen minutes earlier.
Joshua Nothegger called police and told them his car had been snatched only moments before officers received reports from residents in a Belper street of "car carnage" in their road in the early hours of the morning.
But when police arrived in Spencer Road they were instantly suspicious as Nothegger was "clearly over the limit", which was confirmed by a roadside breath test.
The 22-year-old also had an injured leg, which he claimed had happened when he tried to chase the person who stole his car.
But Derby Crown Court heard Nothegger had in fact sustained the injury while behind the wheel.
His DNA was found on the airbag of his Lexus vehicle, which was in the road with damage to its front end.
Handing Nothegger a five-month jail sentence, suspended for a year, Recorder Shaun Smith said: "What you did is something which is punishable by imprisonment.
"If people go around giving false statements to investigate crime we would be in a complete mess."
Jonathan Straw, prosecuting, said people in the street had been disturbed at about 4am by "car carnage" outside.
He said that the three vehicles that Nothegger, of Jubilee Court, Belper, had crashed into were all severely damaged and had to be written-off.
Mr Straw said that one of the neighbours had gone outside and saw two people, Nothegger and a man called Michael Costello, who ran passed him.
"Costello reinforced Nothegger's story," said Mr Straw.
He said that Nothegger was almost twice the drink-drive limit.
As well as injuring his leg in the collisions, he also had a cut to his head.
Giving Costello a three-month jail sentence, suspended for a year, Recorder Smith told him he was "an idiot".
He said: "Going along with the man sat beside you has got you into a lot of trouble.
"You're a hard-working man, it's sad that you're sitting there."
Nothegger and Costello, 22, of Ashfields, Belper, admitted intending to pervert the course of justice on March 4.
Nothegger also pleaded guilty to drink-driving, not having a licence or insurance, failing to stop at the scene of an accident and possessing a small amount of cannabis.
They were both ordered to pay £600 towards prosecution costs.
Nothegger must also do 100 hours of unpaid work and was banned from driving for 15 months.