A MAN was jailed for falsely reporting his car as stolen after crashing it.
Driver Tony Cowan, 28, was given eight months in prison at Durham Crown Court.
His partner and front-seat passenger Karen Dawson, 26, was jailed for six months, suspended for two years, and ordered to do 100 hours of community work.
Chris Baker, prosecuting, said Cowan lost control of the Mazda on a road outside Chester-le-Street.
He said: “Another driver was coming the other way. She had to swerve to avoid a collision.
“She heard a bang which was Cowan crashing into a lamppost. He and Dawson left the scene.”
The court heard Cowan reported the car as stolen the next morning and later made a statement in support of the story.
Mr Baker said traces of blood on both of the car’s airbags was tested for DNA and was found to be Cowan and Dawson’s.
He added: “Dawson tried to explain this away by saying they had argued in the car and she had punched Cowan.”
Cowan admitted perverting the course of justice, and driving without due care and attention. Dawson admitted attempting to pervert the course of justice.
The judge told the pair, of Ninth Avenue, Chester-le-Street: “We have all read of the high profile cases in which people have tried to pervert the course of justice in relation to driving matters. It is a serious offence. Immediate custody will almost always follow.”