" ...when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts."Thus Washington Irving. He'd have been impressed with Jacqueline Binley.
Photo - the magnificently named Heathcliff O'Malley.
Now young (? 27 !) Mr Binley sounds like he's been just about all the kinds of fool a young fool can be.
"The son of Conservative MP Brian Binley has been jailed and his wife has narrowly avoided imprisonment after they concocted a string of lies to cover up a drink driving offence. Former police officer Matthew Binley, 27, was arrested after he crashed his Alfa Romeo in Northampton, Northants, whilst twice the drink-drive limit. He had attempted to evade capture by fleeing the vehicle but was taken into custody after officers spotted him hiding in a nearby bush. His mother Jacqueline Binley, 50, tried to take the blame, claiming she had been the one driving his car.
Despite not being at the scene of the accident she told officers she had caught a taxi home minutes before police arrived and arrested her son. The pair admitted attempting to pervert the course of justice while Mr Binley pleaded guilty to a further charge of drink driving."
"Matthew was dropped off at his Northampton flat at 11.30pm on May 22 last year after attending a friend's wedding and carried on the party at city centre nightclubs. However, for an unknown reason he decided to go for a late night drive in his Alfa Romeo, which he then crashed into a kerb before calling the RAC at 1.30am. The recovery driver noticed he 'appeared drunk' and immediately called police who found Mr Binley hiding in a nearby bush and arrested him on suspicion of drink driving. "Now you or I might not decide on a quick spin round the block while soused - but we've all done things that with hindsight were inadvisable. Having pranged the car with no other vehicle or person involved, you'd think he'd give thanks for that fact, park the car as tidily as can, then put as much distance between himself and it as possible before calling the garage the following day. What possessed him to call the RAC ? (in the old days the RAC man would have called a taxi, not the police).
Having done the above, involving your blameless mother in an attempted cover-up is surely adding not just a cherry on the confection of foolishness, but a whole fruitbowl - with whipped cream and hundreds and thousands to boot, not to mention strawberry and chocolate sauce. But when a job (he was a police officer) is at stake, people will do a lot.
And she stepped up to the plate, despite considerable reservations. Fair play to her and to her fierce maternal instinct. The fact that it was a mad thing to do, with little chance of success, makes it all the more commendable.
While she and her husband, MP Brian Binley, are entitled to think their son's been very silly, I hope Mr Binley is very proud of his wife (even if he can't say so publicly), and that his son's had the grace to apologise, to thank her, and to swear never to be such an idiot again.
'Wish Matthew would just bite the bullet and take the rap. I'm beginning to resent him asking me but I daren't tell him to his face.''
(It's rarely that I bitterly regret not being a wealthy man. In such case, I would offer the Binleys a fortnight anywhere in the world, with all the spas, pampering and dining a woman could want*, and an expensive trip to the jewellers at the end. I know there are far more worthy people in the world, but something about this story just touches me, as it might touch any father with sons and a redhead wife)
* my experience in this area being limited, I'm making it up as I go along.
UPDATE - Susan looked at the story over my shoulder. "She's as daft as he is. I wouldn't lie for him if it were my son". Women are so unromantic.