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Friday, 18 April 2014

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Hayes garden centre boss accused of lying over who was driving crash car

The owner of one of Cumbria’s biggest garden centres has gone on trial accused of conspiring to pervert the course of justice.

Thomas Hayes photo
Thomas Hayes

Thomas Hayes, 46, owner of Hayes Garden World of Ambleside, is accused of lying with another man over who was driving a Porsche.

Derek Henderson, 58, who has worked for Hayes, was alongside him in the dock at Carlisle Crown Court accused of the same charge.

Hayes, of Crook Road, Kendal, and Henderson, of Woodbank Terrace, Endmoor, deny the charge.

Brendan Burke, prosecuting, said the prosecution claims Hayes was driving a Porsche involved in a crash near Kendal in November, 2010.

“He was alone in that vehicle, the prosecution say, and he was very drunk,” said Mr Burke. “He was way over the legal limit. He crashed the car, flipping it over onto its roof.

The prosecutor said: “He decided to lie to the police and lied to the courts about who was driving that vehicle.” Mr Burke said the two men on trial “entered into an agreement to mislead the police and the courts so Hayes could avoid the consequences of his drink-driving”.

Henderson claimed he was the driver.

But this was not believed in court.

Mr Burke added: “Mr Hayes was a wealthy, successful businessman running the garden centre.

“Henderson was not in such a fortunate position in life.”

Henderson worked for a company sub-contracted to the garden centre and worked time to time in private jobs for Hayes, the court heard.

“Mr Hayes got himself in a fix,” said Mr Burke.

“He was in a position to influence Mr Henderson.

“Whether it was with money, promises of more work, better work, threat of less work, whatever his influence allowed, he got Mr Henderson involved in this ultimately to get himself out of prison.”

The trial continues.

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