Drink-Driver Who Lied About Girlfriend Dying To Avoid Ban Has Been Jailed
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Graham Nelson, 40, was more than twice the drink-driving limit when he was pulled over.
But he was let off when he burst into tears in the dock, telling them that his girlfriend, 31-year-old Holly Carpenter had died just after he was arrested.
Although he made no mention of his girlfriend's condition at the time, he told the court that his partner had called him saying she couldn't breathe. He added that as he couldn't get a taxi, he drove to her house.
During the hearing he was said to be visibly upset and started to cry, with magistrates convinced that the story was true, and even advising him to seek counselling.
It worked at first, with the case dismissed and the mandatory disqualification waived.
However, a court clerk spotted one of her prescriptions was dated after he had said she died in photos submitted as evidence.
Police went on to find her death had not been registered. When two officers knocked on her door in Darlington, Holly opened it.
Nelson, a bodywork mechanic, was arrested again and admitted perjury at Durham crown court.
He received a six month jail term, as well as a driving ban of two years and three months.
Holly suffers from cystic fibrosis and Graham is her main carer.
She told The Sun: "I was very angry when I found out he had said I had died. It was such a stupid thing to say.
"But it was out of worry for me. He knew that if he got sent to prison, I'd be on my own."
Judge Ray Singh said that the sentence was given as a deterrent. Nelson had already claimed 'exceptional circumstances' to trick the court and so he had no choice but to issue the sentence.
However, because of his girlfriend's condition, his jail term was reduced down to six months.
Detective Constable Liam Robertson said: "This defendant has attempted to pervert the course of justice and avoid sentencing at court by heinously playing on his partner's medical conditions to try to sway leniency with the court.
"Perjury is a serious matter that strikes at the foundation of our justice system so I hope this serves as a warning for other people who may consider lying to us and the courts."