Quentin achieves suspended sentence in serious case of perverting the course of Justice
Mr LS was stopped by police exceeding the speed limit while driving a Range Rover motor vehicle, LS was disqualified from driving at the time. He was therefore uninsured to drive the vehicle, which was insured on a trade policy.
LS lied to the police and gave them the name of a man who he knows that looks extremely like him, even down to having similar tattoos. Police undertook checks and were satisfied that LS had told the truth. He was allowed to continue on his way. LS subsequently contacted his friend and asked his friend if he would ‘take the points’ for him. His friend refused. LS then notified the police that he was in fact the person driving.
In the meantime LS’s friend was contacted by the police in respect of the speeding offence, he told the police that he was not the person driving and that it was in fact LS. This resulted in the police looking for LS and he was eventually pulled over by the police while driving a different Range Rover vehicle. On that occasion, he gave another, different, false name. He was arrested by Police and when interviewed he fully accepted his culpability and guilt. He was subsequently charged with 2 counts of perverting the course of justice, a count of driving while disqualified and a count of driving with no insurance.
LS was rightly very concerned about the sentence that he might receive, as offences of perverting the course of justice nearly always carry prison sentences. As the Lord Chief Justice stated in the leading case of R v Middleton  1 Cr. App. R. (S.) 256:
To pervert the course of justice is always a serious offence. The courts rely upon people behaving in a responsible way and not seeking to subvert the criminal justice system. Where somebody perverts the course of justice by interfering with the court’s process, a very serious offence has been committed. Such an offence will almost always require a substantial custodial sentence.
LS instructed Quentin Hunt on a direct public access basis to conduct a ‘damage limitation exercise’ and to try to ensure that he did not go to prison. Quentin immediately set to work collecting valuable mitigation information from LS, in respect of both him personally and in respect of the offence itself. He then got in touch with the Crown Prosecution Service and entered into negotiations to limit the extent of any offending. Quentin was successful in persuading the CPS to drop one of the counts of perverting the course of justice and to accept pleas on a limited basis to the other counts. This was vital.
LS pleaded guilty and was sentenced in the Crown Court at Snaresbrook. Quentin had worked hard with LS to produce a formidable package of mitigation materials and was able to put forward a persuasive argument to the Court that LS should not be given an immediate custodial sentence. The Court agreed with Quentin’s submissions and passed a suspended period of imprisonment upon LS, who was delighted with the result.
If you are faced with an allegation of Perverting the Course of Justice, you may wish to seek expert legal advice as the ramifications upon conviction can be severe. In some cases, matters can be keenly contested whereas some others involve a ‘damage control’ exercise. Quentin Hunt is a Criminal Barrister with over 20 years’ experience who is an expert in dealing with both such of cases and offences of perverting the course of justice generally. Quentin accepts instructions both through solicitors or directly from members of the public. You may contact Quentin for a free, no obligation telephone conversation about your case.