Mother jailed for lying to protect her son over driving lesson crash
A mother has been jailed for lying to protect her teenaged son when he crashed the family car during an unofficial driving lesson on a camp site.
Mary-Ann Smith knew her son was not insured and so told everyone at the scene she had been driving when the car was involved in a minor shunt.
She maintained the lie when she filed her insurance report and repeated it when the police were called in to investigate and when she was taken to court.
Smith, aged 39, sobbed in the dock at Exeter Crown Court as she was jailed for 18 weeks and told it was necessary to deter others from thinking that such offences are not serious.
NEW FROM SYMPLY - a wet dog food in a tray freshly steamed with real meat and veg you can see minimum of 68% meat content up to 72% in the adult trays.
Terms: Come and try tray at introductory price of £1
Contact: 01271 440626
Valid until: Friday, January 31 2014
Smith, of Ferguson Close, Ottery St Mary, Devon, denied perverting the course of justice but was found guilty at a trial last month.
She was jailed for 18 week by Recorder Mr John Williams who told her:”This arose from an incident in which you allowed your son to drive and there was a very minor accident.
“You immediately told people you were the driver for insurance purposes and thereafter you lied to the police and the jury about what happened, maintaining throughout you were the driver when it was plain you were not.
“It may be that you were not trying to protect yourself and you were protecting your son and I give you credit for finally accepting what you have done and showing remorse.
“I bear very much in mind you are a carer for your husband and your mother and I have read the references about you.
“The great problem with these cases is that people embark on them thinking they are unimportant. For that reason I have absolutely no choice but to send you to prison.”
During the trial last month prosecutor Mr Gordon Richings compared the case to that of former cabinet minister Chris Huhne and his ex wife Vicky Price, who were both jailed for a speeding points fiddle.
Smith claimed she had been the driver when her car crashed at the Cat and Fiddle camp site near Aylesbeare, East Devon last summer but witnesses said her son was the driver.
Mr Richard Crabb, defending, said she has now admitted her guilt to the writer of the probation pre sentence report.
He said she cares for her elderly mother and disabled husband, who will both suffer more than her if she is jailed.
He said:”She allowed her son to drive on a private road but it was in a public place and there was a most minor accident and she lied about it by accepting responsibility on her part to protect her son.
“The longer it went on, the more difficult she found it to acknowledge the truth. It is different from a case where someone is trying to avoid a specific penalty such as speeding points.
“She is unlikely to offend again and this is a personal tragedy for her. She brought it on herself and it is she who is going to prison but it is the vulnerable people around her who will suffer most.”