A man has been jailed today for three months after he claimed his car had been stolen, crashed and abandoned on Christmas Day.

Jordan Ellis, 28, of Forest Grove in Woodside, Thornwood, pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice at Chelmsford Crown Court on Monday, August 12.

Officers had received reports of a collision off of Duck Lane in Thornwood in the early hours on Tuesday, December 25, 2018.

Upon attending at 3.20am, they found the BMW abandoned with damage to the bonnet and with its airbags deployed.

The officers traced the vehicle back to Ellis, its registered owner, who denied having been involved in an accident, claiming that the car must have been stolen.

However, Ellis’ DNA was found all over the airbag.

He was voluntarily interviewed in February 2019 in connection with the offence, and later summonsed to court.

Alongside, his sentence, the 28-year-old was ordered to pay £400 in fines.

District Commander for Brentwood and Epping, Chief Inspector Lewis Basford, said: “This was a completely unacceptable waste of police time and funds, with my officers spending hours of time and dedicated resources on a crime that had not actually been committed.

“Ellis’ lies took investigation time away from real victims of crime and that is inexcusable. His behaviour was deplorable and selfish, and it’s a small mercy that he had the decency to plead guilty to his crime.

“People make mistakes, but if you lie to us in blatant self-interest, we will catch you out and we will prosecute you. There is no excuse for this appalling behaviour.”