Ex-Miss Liverpool, 38, crashed her Mercedes, fled the scene and reported it stolen but has avoided jail sentence and driving ban
A former Miss Liverpool crashed her Mercedes, fled the scene and reported the car as stolen has avoided a jail sentence and driving ban.
Victoria McInerney caused thousands of pounds of damage when she smashed into a set of traffic lights on a main road in the early hours before falsely claiming that a thief had been behind the wheel. She punched the air with delight after walking free from court over the incident today, Tuesday.
The sales director and pilates studio owner was also allowed to keep her driving licence. Liverpool Crown Court heard that the crash occurred on Poulton Road, Wirral, at around 4am on January 21 this year.
McInerney, from Netherton, told a taxi driver afterwards: ‘My boyfriend is going to kill me. Look what I’ve done to the car.’
Former Miss Liverpool, Victoria McInerney, pictured outside Liverpool Magistrates’ Court, avoided prison and a driving ban after admitting perverting the course of justice and leaving the scene of an accident
Ms McInerney was also told to pay £2,055 in compensation to Wirral Council, £500 in court costs and a £95 victim surcharge. She also received seven penalty points. She was handed a 12-month community order with 80 hours of unpaid work and a rehabilitation activity requirement of up to 10 days
But the 38-year-old – who also competed for the title of Miss England as a teenager in 2003, when she was an aspiring model and singer – left the area before police and paramedics arrived. At 9am, she called the force herself to report that the company car had been taken during a burglary.
The ‘award-winning dancer’ told officers she had stayed overnight at her then boyfriend’s home on nearby Deveraux Drive, arriving shortly before 8pm and leaving her vehicle parked outside with the keys left near to the unlocked front porch. She stated that she had gone to bed at 11pm and awoke to find her car had gone.
But subsequent enquiries revealed CCTV footage of the accident, which was played to the court and showed McInerney exiting the driver’s side door. Police returned to the address at lunchtime the same day, at which point she confessed that she had invented the story.
The driver said she had been unable to sleep and was driving to a garage to buy cigarettes when she ‘lost control’ of the car. McInerney, of Manor Drive, had then ‘panicked’ because she ‘didn’t want to lose her job’.
Michael Scholes, defending, told the court that his client acts as a carer for several family members and has a history of physical and mental health problems. He also described her as ‘hard-working, responsible and well thought of young woman’.
Mr Scholes added: ‘There was a significant degree of brain fog. The extremely bad decision taken is so out of character that it suggests there must have been other factors beyond simply wanting to avoid responsibility.
‘She is in a position to make reparations. It’s entirely reasonable to suggest she will not trouble the courts again and she has the potential for a productive future.
‘She is just the last person you would expect to see before the courts for this type of offence. Sometimes people make mistakes, and some mistakes have more serious consequences than others.’
McInerney – who has no previous convictions – admitted perverting the course of justice and failing to stop after an accident and was handed a 12-month community order with 80 hours of unpaid work and a rehabilitation activity requirement of up to 10 days. She was handed seven penalty points, but was allowed to remain on the roads after pleading ‘significant hardship’ due to the impact any disqualification would have on her work.
Sentencing, Judge Louise Brandon said: ‘You deliberately provided false information to the police, and you did so in circumstances where you must have mulled it over before you did it. You caused valuable resources to be wasted when they could have been used elsewhere.
‘It’s clear you are someone who is held in high regard by anyone who knows you. You are of impeccable and positive good character.
‘You deeply regret what you did. In panic, you didn’t think through the consequences of your actions.
‘You have had time to reflect and taken responsibility. I accept there were other factors in play, and that it was not all about wanting to avoid responsibility.
‘Offences of this nature undermine the very nature of the criminal justice system.
‘But I very much doubt that we will be seeing you in this court again. You have never been before the courts before, and you don’t pose a risk to the public in my judgement.’
McInerney was also told to pay £2,055 in compensation to Wirral Council, £500 in court costs and a £95 victim surcharge.