TWO people who tried to dupe police by swapping seats in a car following a crash that killed a father-of-one have been jailed.
Alan Hellyer, 55, died instantly when the motorbike he was riding was hit by a Vauxhall Astra on the A3 near Queen Elizabeth Country Park.
Driver Trevor Barnard, 33, swapped seats with passenger and then-girlfriend Cassie Fagan, 24, at the scene shortly after the crash.
It was later discovered Barnard had been driving while disqualified and without insurance.
Now Barnard, of Acton Close, Leigh Park, has been jailed for four years and given a three-year driving ban at Winchester Crown court.
Fagan, of Portswood Road, Leigh Park, was sentenced to a year in jail for her role in the deception.
The court heard Mr Hellyer, of Wakefords Way, Havant, was returning home from visiting his mother in hospital in Petersfield when he was hit by the hire car.
Fagan told police she was behind the wheel and said the pair had been out shoplifting when the crash happened on September 9 2011. She was arrested and later charged with causing death by careless driving.
But eight months after Mr Hellyer’s death, Fagan contacted police and changed her story, claiming Barnard was in fact the driver.
Barnard was charged after police investigated the allegation. He later admitted driving while disqualified, perverting the course of justice, causing death by careless driving and driving without insurance.
Fagan admitted one count of perverting the course of justice.
In a statement read out in court by Robert Bryan, defending, Fagan apologised to Mr Hellyer’s family for her actions.
Mr Hellyer’s brother Adrian, 54, said: ‘We all think the sentences should have been a lot more.
‘It’s not enough but at least it’s something.
‘We didn’t get chance even to say goodbye to him. We got nearly a year into the case to be told (Barnard) wasn’t the driver. It just seemed we would get nowhere. The police support has been amazing.
‘Every day I pass over the spot where he was killed going to work and I think of him.’
He added: ‘I feel at last we have got closure. We know who is responsible and they are paying the penalty.’
Mr Hellyer’s ex-wife Linda Knipe said: ‘Alan was an extremely careful and considerate driver. I don’t feel we have been able to put Alan to rest until now.
‘Two years is a long time. It’s because of them, because they lied.
‘Alan was wonderful. He would do anything for anyone. He was an amazing dad.’
LIES TOLD BY DUO MEANT CASE WAS DRAGGED OUT FOR TWO YEARS
THE web of lies told by Trevor Barnard and Cassie Fagan meant their cases were dragged out for more than two years following Alan Hellyer’s death.
Both Barnard, 33, and Fagan, 24, initially told police the motorbike the 55-year-old was riding when he was hit by the Vauxhall Astra had a defective rear light.
But the police investigation revealed their claim was not true.
Prosecutor Katherine Lumsdon described Mr Hellyer as ‘an experienced and careful motorcyclist’ at Winchester Crown Court.
When Fagan contacted police in May last year – eight months after Mr Hellyer’s death – to admit she was not driving when the crash happened, officers had to investigate again.
PC Karen Stevenson, officer in the case, said: ‘What (Barnard and Fagan) have put the family through is appalling. Hopefully now they can have some sort of closure.
‘To have had the investigation go on that long because of the defendants’ action has had a terrible effect on the family.’