Speed trap! Facebook post takes a wrong turn

A British man receives a jail sentence after using Facebook to find someone to take the rap for his excessive driving habits.

Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Two characteristics about the modern world are entirely clear: Facebook isn't private and people's brain functions have sunk below those of a cabbage.

When these two collide, the result is usually a court case.

So it transpired with the brainwave that struck 32-year-old Scott Woodburn.

He was caught speeding by British police, which was something of a nuisance. He had accumulated so many points that this latest offense would mean he might have his driver's license taken away.

And who wants that?

So, as the Daily Mail reports, Woodburn did what any righteous and cool citizen would do: he advertised on Facebook for someone to claim they were at the wheel.

Astoundingly, 26-year-old David Baggarley responded to the plea. He received 250 British pounds (around $400) for his trouble.

The trouble, though, didn't quite end with the transaction.

Perhaps it might have seemed suspicious to police that Baggarly didn't actually have a driver's license.

Still, all a police spokesman would say is that the force used "forensic evidence" to prove that Woodburn had been driving, not Baggarley.

This remarkably ill-thought-out ruse got Woodburn five months in jail, Baggarley a mere 11 weeks.

Moralists will declare that these two deserved what they got.

For myself, I see a far more exalted result to this tale: advertising on Facebook actually works.

 

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