False alibi for friend nearly put man in jail

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A MAN who gave his violent mate a false alibi during a Mexborough police investigation has been spared jail because he has turned his life around.

A judge at Doncaster Crown Court told Michael Scott Inman she was very impressed by the way he had managed to get off drugs and obtain a job on the railways.

The 27-year-old pleaded guilty to a charge of committing an act tending to pervert the course of justice and walked from the dock with a suspended prison sentence of 52 weeks. He must also complete 250 hours of unpaid work.

The offence arose out a police investigation into an assault on a man by two other people, one of whom - Mark Milner - was later jailed for 21 months for inflicting grievous bodily harm.

When detectives interviewed Inman he said he could clearly remember Milner visiting his flat the same night at 7pm and staying there until midnight, which was during the time when the assault was committed, said Mark Kendall, prosecuting.

Because Milner pleaded guilty the case did not go before a jury so Inman, of Hirstgate, Mexborough, was not called to give evidence, but neither did he ever retract his statement.

He was later arrested and admitted making a false statement and said he realised his actions could have resulted in Milner’s acquittal for an offence when he was guilty, added Mr Kendall.

The defendant’s previous record showed 72 convictions, mostly for dishonesty.

Inman’s solicitor, Sarah Smith, said the offence was committed out of a misguided sense of loyalty and he was not under duress or receiving financial benefit.

“He was in the grip of drug addiction but there has been no further offending and he is now drug-free and in employment,” she said.

Judge Jacqueline Davies said Inman had an appalling record but reports from a probation officer had surprised her because they were so positive.

“Since this offence you have addressed your drug use and gained employment and have a more stable lifestyle.

“Because you are someone with genuine dedication and commitment who has made massive progress I can take an exceptional course. I have been very impressed.”