TWO people from Tempo have narrowly avoided imprisonment after admitting perverting the course of justice by making false complaints of assault – the second time they have committed such an offence.
Sarah Storey (60) and Noel Henry Robert Storey (46) both with addresses at Morrow Park, Tempo each made reports to police they had been assaulted by a male on 5 July 2016. They appeared together in the dock of Dungannon Crown Court where the charge was accepted.
Prosecution counsel Michael McAleer advised this was the second time the pair had carried out an offence of this nature, with the previous instance occurring in 2015, and dealt with by a suspended sentence in November 2016.
It was accepted the current matter does not breach the suspended sentence.
On the day in question, the victim had been constructing a wall and was approached by the defendants seeking recovery of some tools. Whilst there was a verbal exchange, there was no question of any assault. He was shocked when police advised there had been a report of an incident and the matter was under investigation. But police soon realised the evidence put forward by the Storey’s didn’t add up, and were aware they had previously made false allegations.
Mr McAleer told the court the victim was left extremely distressed and concerned by the false report and feared the allegations could cost him his job. He became, “Uneasy every time he travelled to Clabby and began using a Dashcam, CCTV and phone recordings to cover his movements for verification.”
Defence counsel stated the latest matters occurred some six months prior to being sentenced for the first offences.
He contended, “Neither defendant is operating on the same intellectual capacity as others in the court.”
Addressing both defendants, His Honour Judge Neil Rafferty QC said, “Whatever notion you had that it was acceptable to make false reports and get people into trouble seems to now be out of your heads. I make no distinction between each of you and I regard you as liars-in-common. “
Imposing a prison sentence of nine months, suspended for three years, Judge Rafferty warned, “This is the end. No more lies, no more false reports. It ends now.”
To read more.. Subscribe to current edition
Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere