A couple’s malicious lies to police led to an innocent businessman being held in a police cell, a court heard.
David Berwick, 27, and Samantha Rushton, 25, both of Greenwood, Bamber Bridge, near Preston, admitted they made false police statements claiming their victim had threatened to “break bones”, shoot them, petrol bomb them, blow up their home, and hurt their child.
Berwick was jailed for 22 months after admitting perverting the course of justice, attempted theft and three frauds.
Rushton, who was pregnant at the time of the offence, cried as the judge suspended her six month sentence for 12 months and gave her a three month curfew.
Preston Crown Court heard Berwick was in a garage business deal with the man, who was “rightfully” pursuing him for rent he had not paid.
Their statements, in May last year, led to the man being arrested in front of his daughter, five, at home and held in a cell.
The court heard despite his innocence it ended his relationship.
Recorder Kevin Grice, sentencing Berwick, said: “In my view you are a thoroughly dishonest man. You resort, when you feel it necessary, to lies, deception and deceit.”
Prosecuting, Richard Bennett said the couple were released on bail after being quizzed about the statements.
But the same month, Berwick tricked a man into believing he would MOT his 78-year-old mother’s car for £15.
The victim kept handing money over for “work” until the defendant offered to scrap it and sell the man’s mother his Vauxhall Corsa.
The pensioner agreed, but Berwick never gave them the Corsa, and sold her car for £100.
In July, he offered to sell another car on behalf of a taxi driver he was doing odd jobs for - but scrapped it instead and pocketed the cash.
He tried to cash a blank cheque from him which he made out to himself for £4,000.
Defending Berwick, James Hawks said he was suffering mental health issues.
Joanne Shepherd, defending Rushton, said: “It’s accepted she was pressurised into going along with what he effectively set in motion.”