A Conservative MP who demolished a telegraph pole in a late-night car crash then fled the scene has been banned from driving for six months.
Neighbours who heard the crash went to see if Jamie Wallis was okay, but he collected his mobile phone from the Mercedes E-class saloon and quickly left the scene in Llanblethian, South Wales, shortly after 1am on November 28 last year.
The Bridgend MP, 38, who told the court he was transgender, said he had swerved to avoid a cat and left the scene because he had become “overwhelmed” by his recently diagnosed PTSD and felt vulnerable in women’s clothing – having been raped the last time he wore such an outfit publicly.
Cardiff Magistrates’ Court heard the MP phoned his father, who picked him up nearby and took him home where hours later he was found asleep by police.
Wallis, who is estranged from his wife, described the alleged rape, which took place in London in September last year, as “profoundly distressing and I was traumatised” and left him with night-terrors, flashbacks and anxiety.
“I became obsessed with what happened, I kept thinking about it, having nightmares and flashbacks,” he said.
Wallis said he became so scared of being attacked again, he would lay traps in his own home to act as obstacles for any intruder.
But he added he was yet to make a formal complaint to the police.
When the accident happened in Church Road and he saw people approaching his car, it triggered his PTSD, so he left the scene to be “safe” as he feared he may be “assaulted or accosted, restrained or kidnapped”.
Residents Adrian Watson and Natalie Webb heard a “very loud bang, significantly louder than a domestic firework” and went outside to see amber flashing lights and the car having hit the pole.
Both witnesses asked whether Wallis was okay and then told him they were calling the police, at which point the MP started walking away, the court heard.
As they followed him, they saw him make two phone calls during which he told someone he was being “accosted”. He was then picked up by his father Daryl Wallis and driven home.
Mr Watson said the person inside the car was “a white male 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”.
Police went to the Wallis family’s home and forced entry out of concern for the MP. Wallis was found in bed.
The black leather skirt and pearl necklace were found next to the bed and were seized by police.
His consultant psychiatrist Dr Shubulade Smith confirmed she had diagnosed him with the psychiatric condition on November 23 – five days before the incident.
Wallis, of Crossways House, Cowbridge, had denied charges of driving without due care and attention, failing to stop, failing to report a road traffic collision and leaving a vehicle in a dangerous position.
District Judge Tan Ikram, who said the MP’s evidence did not seem “credible”, acquitted him of the first charge but found him guilty of the other three and disqualified him driving for six months and fined him £2,500.
Wallis, who earns £82,000 a year as an MP, was also given 14 days to pay costs of £620 and a victim surcharge of £190.
Convicting him, the judge said: “I am going to be upfront. I didn’t find the defendant credible in the evidence he gave.
“When I watched him give evidence it seemed to me not only was he fitting his own behaviour around the behaviour of PTSD, and his actions on the night does not suggest he was overwhelmed and acting out of fear that night.
“Having PTSD is not a defence. What the prosecution have proved to me he was able to make decisions that night – he made bad decisions.”
The judge added: “If your judgment is impaired, as your lawyer suggests, some may wonder why you are driving at all.”
As he left court, Wallis told reporters: “I don’t have any comments or statements to make at this time.”
The Conservative Party will not be taking further action against Wallis.
A Whips Office spokeswoman said: “Jamie Wallis MP has been found guilty of various offences and it is right that he has been punished.
“We will not be taking any further action and will continue to provide welfare support.”