A DECORATED soldier caught speeding through Holme-on-Spalding-Moor asked his brother to take the blame so that he could keep his job.
The eight-year career of Corporal Gary Williams, 26, in the 5th Battalion Rifles is still in the balance despite five tours of Iraq and a commendation for exemplary military service.
Williams, who once stopped a mortar attack killing British soldiers, was specially selected to train infantry at Catterick with his fighting skills.
But, after being caught driving at 39mph on a 30mph stretch of the A164 at Holme-upon-Spalding-Moor, he knew he would likely lose his Catterick post and have to return to the frontline.
At the time of speeding, Gary was driving on a provisional licence with six penalty points so he asked his twin brother Christopher to take the blame.
The lie had already cost Gary £4,000 in legal fees when the brothers appeared before Hull Crown Court on Monday for sentencing.
They had previously pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to pervert the court of justice between 4 April and 27 April 2011.
Gary Williams of 2nd Avenue, Fitzwilliam, Pontefract, also admitted a charge of speeding and driving otherwise in accordance with a licence.
His barrister Simon Batiste told the court: “The position was his partner had a very young baby and she was suffering from post-natal depression.
“She was finding it difficult. He recognised that the likelihood was he would go back to Germany and then the front line.
“It is not that he is shy of the front line. He has completed five tours of Iraq and one of Afghanistan.
“He has been commended and received a significant eye injury during service. He was concerned for his family and accepts that he did something remarkably stupid.”
His brother, Christopher Williams, a university graduate, of Catherine’s Walk, Barnsley, told the judge he was sorry and had lied out of loyalty to his twin brother who has a six-year-old daughter: “Any loving family member would be torn between sending someone out to Afghanistan or taking three penalty points,” he said.
“I was between a rock and a hard place. I didn’t see any other way out of it.”
Mr Batiste said Gary Williams faced military justice including a £4,000 legal bill and could be discharged from the Army if he received a prison term or anything more than 100 hours community service.
Judge Jeremy Baker, QC, told the brothers: “Perverting the course of justice carries a prison sentence because it strikes at the root of the criminal justice system.
“In my judgment this is a case which could be said to cross the custody threshold.
“However, I do remind myself simply because it crossed the custody threshold it does not mean that a custodial sentence has to be imposed.
“The mitigation is forceful. You have had operational service in Iraq in operation Telic 1 and Telic 2. You have pleaded guilty and have no previous convictions, indeed you are of positive good character.”
He said it at had been made plain Gary would lose his rank and be returned to Germany and operational duties and that prison or a suspended sentence would be a ‘disproportionate punishment’ bearing in mind the ‘catastrophic consequences’ for his future in the Army and his private life.
He gave both brothers 90 hours community punishment. Gary Williams was also given a £400 fine and four points on his licence.
He will now face a military tribunal before a colonel and is likely to lose his Catterick job and end up back on the front line in Afghanistan.