A DRIVER who called the police to lie his car had been stolen after he crashed it into a van was caught when he left his DNA on the vehicle’s airbag.

John Parfitt, 39, of Lower Viaduct Terrace, Crumlin, fled from the scene in Newbridge when he collided with a stationary Ford Transit last summer.

The next day, prosecutor Rachel Knight said: “He called the police to claim his Volkswagen Passat was stolen. He hadn’t thought things through and was trying to make things up on the spot. It was a four-minute call of lies.”

Cardiff Crown Court heard how the police had taken a swab from the airbag on the driver’s side of the car which incriminated Parfitt as it contained his DNA.


The defendant told the police that after crashing his car at around 11pm, he had “panicked and ran off”.

Parfitt insisted he had not been driving under the influence of alcohol at the time of the collision.

He pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice, failing to stop after a road accident and failing to report a road accident.

The offences took place on August 16, 2019.

The court heard Parfitt had previous convictions, including failing to surrender and public disorder.

Jeffrey Jones, representing the defendant, said his client had admitted his guilt.

He added that the Passat had been a write-off and Parfitt had not implicated anyone else.

Judge Nicole Jones told the defendant: “You conducted your own plot. It was unsophisticated.”

She added: “You are capable of being rehabilitated. You are a working man who clearly regrets what you have done.”

Parfitt was jailed for eight months, suspended for 18 months.

He was ordered to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work and complete a 15-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

Parfitt was banned from driving for 12 months and must pay £300 costs and a £149 victim surcharge.