Trans MP Jamie Wallis found guilty of fleeing car crash and banned from driving
Jamie Wallis MP has been found guilty of failing to stop and report a car crash.
Warning – rape.
Wallis was handed a £2,5000 fine and disqualified from driving for six months after telling the court he fled the scene of the crash in November, fearing he would be “raped, killed or kidnapped”.
Wallis told Cardiff Magistrates’ Court on Monday (11 July) that he swerved his Mercedes to avoid hitting a cat, and that the car subsequently hit a lamppost and telegraph pole.
The MP for Bridgend in Wales said he was suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder after being raped, an ordeal he disclosed when he came out as trans in March (Wallis uses he/him pronouns).
Wallis was convicted of failing to stop, failing to report a road traffic collision, and leaving a vehicle in a dangerous position. He was cleared of a fourth charge, of driving without due car and attention.
He pleaded not guilty to all charges. However, district judge Tan Ikram said living with PTSD was not an excuse.
“I am going to be upfront, I didn’t find the defendant credible in the evidence he gave,” judge Ikram said, per the BBC.
“When I watched him give evidence it seemed to me he fitting his own behaviour around the behaviour of PTSD, and his actions on that night does not suggest he was overwhelmed and acting out of fear that night.”
Ikram added: “I am sure he was not prevented through PTSD to giving details or particulars and report the accident soon after, he made a decision he didn’t want to be there, and made a decision to ring his father.
“Through all of that period he could have rang 999 or 101, he didn’t.
“I am sure he didn’t through a conscious choice, not through being overwhelmed or acting irrationally.”
The crash took place in Llanblethian, Vale of Glamorgan, in the early hours of 28 November.
Nearby residents reported hearing a loud bang while hosting a gathering nearby, saying it was “significantly louder than a domestic firework”.
Two of the residents, Adrian Watson and Natalie Webb, then approached the car and saw Wallis “wearing a white, long-sleeve top which was tight to the body, a black leather PVC mini-skirt, tights, dark shoes with a high heel and a pearl necklace”.
Watson then saw Wallis make two phone calls – claiming he was being “accosted” during one – before eventually being picked up by his father. The MP said he noticed the group of people approaching and felt “anxious.”
He was arrested in Llanblethian on suspicion of “driving while unfit” after fleeing the scene.
According to police sergeant Gareth Handy, who attended Wallis’ “absolutely colossal” family home, he forced entry and found Wallis asleep in his bedroom. Wallis was eventually arrested at 7:21 am.
Wallis referenced the car crash when he came out as trans, saying: “I have PTSD and I honestly have no idea what I was doing except I was overcome by an overwhelming sense of fear.
“I am sorry that it appears I ‘ran away’ but this isn’t how it happened in the moment.”
Wallis was also fined £270 and received three points on his licence in February 2022 after crossing a solid white line while driving on the A48 in August 2021.
Since coming out, Jamie Wallis has received a wealth of support from party members and the wider population.
In coming out as the UK’s first openly transgender MP, Wallis opened up about his struggle with gender dysphoria and said he wanted to transition “as quickly as possible.”
“I had no intention of sharing this with you. I always imagined I would leave politics well before I ever said this out loud,” the MP said in his statement.
He also detailed a “close call” in April 2020 where he was blackmailed and his identity was outed to his father, demanding £50,000 to keep quiet about Wallis’ gender identity.
“The police were so supportive, so understanding and on this occasion the system worked,” he said. “He pled guilty and was sentenced to two years and nine months in prison.”
After his statement, prime minister Boris Johnson congratulated him for his “immense amount of courage,” despite his having made several anti-trans jokes at a Tory dinner hours before.
Earlier, Wallis slammed the government’s decision to exclude transgender and non-binary people from the conversion therapy ban in an interview with Sky News on April 4, saying that he was “bitterly disappointed” in the exclusion.
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