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 Drink driver jailed after lying to court

 27/10/2020

A drink driver who lied about the death of a family member to have his court case dismissed has been jailed.

Graham Peter Nelson told magistrates under oath that he was forced to drive a family member who was having a medical emergency after he was stopped in Darlington last June.

The 40-year-old confirmed to the court that the family member had since died.

As a result of the ‘extenuating’ circumstances, the district judge waived the mandatory driving ban resulting in no sentence being issued.

However, investigative officers had suspicions about Nelson’s claims and decided to dig deeper.

After checks revealed that no death had been registered for the family member, officers decided to visit the address and were greeted by the family member, who was well.

Nelson, of the Eastbourne area of Darlington, was charged with perjury and pleaded guilty to wilfully making a false statement when he appeared at Durham Crown Court on October 19.

He was sentenced to six months in prison, disqualified for 27 months and ordered to pay £122 victim surcharge.

Detective Constable Liam Robertson, who led the investigation, said: “This defendant has attempted to pervert the course of justice and avoid sentencing at court by heinously playing on his family member’s medical conditions to try to sway leniency with the court.

“Perjury is a serious matter that strikes at the foundation of our justice system so I hope this serves as a warning for other people who may consider lying to us and the courts.”