Woman gave false alibi for violent crook

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Court news
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A WOMAN who lied to police to give a violent man an alibi has narrowly avoided an immediate jail term.

Mum-of-two Laura Stringfellow, 31, of Holmes Meadow, Leyland, gave a false statement to officers claiming defendant Steven Edwards was at her house all night, drinking, painting and decorating.

This defendant was approached by police and provoked a written statement corroborating Edward’s account

In reality Edwards, 21, of Peacock Hall Road, Leyland, had burst into a house on Stanley Road, Farington, on April 14 last year with another man, armed with a knife and metal pole. He was later jailed after pleading guilty to aggravated burglary.

Stringfellow, who pleaded guilty to attempting to pervert the course of justice, sobbed as she was led into the dock at Preston’s Sessions House.

Prosecuting, Richard Bennett said she had made a signed statement on April 24, 10 days after the incident, and even when asked by police a few months later she maintained the cover up.

He added: “This defendant was approached by police and provoked a written statement corroborating Edward’s account.

“It was discovered numerous calls had been made to Edwards’ phone from her phone at the time she stated he had been home address which obviously raised suspicions.”

Defending, Sarah Magill said the defendant had mental health difficulties and was vulnerable, but despite a difficult upbringing she had led a responsible life.

She said: “She shows a desire to care for others. Unfortunately that’s brought her here before the court. She had taken this 21-year-old, a similar age to her brother, under her wing.”

Suspending her six-month sentence for 12 months, Judge Jonathan Gibson said: “What you were doing was wrong and thoroughly dishonest.

“Ordinarily this kind of offence attracts an immediate custodial sentence because it goes to the very heart of the criminal justice process and the offender might have got away with it.”

He imposed a six month curfew and rehabilitation requirement.