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Hayes Garden World owner is sent back to jail

Published: 12 March 2014
The owner and managing director of leading Lake District garden centre Hayes Garden World has been put behind bars - for the second time.
Hayes Garden World owner is sent back to jail
Thomas Hayes was sentenced to 18 weeks in jail in July 2012 after he crashed his Porsche Cayenne almost two years ago while way over the legal drink-drive limit.

He lodged an appeal, claiming that he had not, in fact, been the driver of the car at the time of the accident but the passenger, while one of his employees, Derek Henderson, had been behind the wheel. Mr Henderson backed the story up.

However, the appeal failed and this month both men have been back in court, accused of conspiring to pervert the course of justice by lying over who was driving. Both pleaded not guilty to the charge but both were found guilty.

Hayes was jailed at Carlisle Crown Court for 18 months and Henderson for 12 months.

Prosecutor Brendan Burke said in court that Hayes had been alone in his car when it crashed but that he had leant on odd job man Henderson to pretend that he had been driving.

"Hayes was a wealthy businessman. At the time of the crash Henderson was working for a company subcontracted to the garden centre," he said.

"The prosecution say Hayes, fearing the consequences of prison or a ban, used his position of power and influence, whether that be with money or the threat of less work, to force Henderson to say he was driving."

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