A DRIVER appeared in court accused of trying to avoid responsibility for a road accident.
Tony Cowan is alleged to have reported a car stolen after the smash and to have asked someone to provide a false alibi for his whereabouts.
Cowan, 28, of Ninth Avenue, Chester-le-Street, is accused of perverting the course of justice and careless driving.
Karen Dawson, 26, also of Ninth Avenue, is accused of perverting the course of justice.
The charges were not put during a short preliminary hearing at Durham Crown Court.
Tony Davis, defending, said Cowan and Dawson intend to deny the allegations.
Judge Christopher Prince said: “This type of offending usually carries a sentence of custody.
“The defendants should be aware they will lose a substantial amount of credit if they later decide to plead guilty.
“Only they know if they are guilty or not, it is a matter for them.”
Judge Prince set a trial date of March 24 and the pair were released on bail.