'Hopeless' attempt at alibi after Telford attack
A Telford man who tried to dupe police with a "hopeless" false alibi to avoid being placed at the scene of a gang attack was shopped by the cousin he begged for help, a court heard.
Paul Swift, 20, sent messages to his cousin Tommy so police couldn't put him at the scene of an attack on a man in Ketley, Telford on the night of August 13, 2017.
But not only did Swift ask his cousin – who could not drive – to tell police he was giving him a lift in his car, he chose a relative he was feuding with to lie to officers for him.
As it transpired, Swift was found not guilty of common assault, so the ruse wasn't even necessary.
Prosecutor Peter Gilmore told Shrewsbury Crown Court: "He had said in a police interview that he wasn't in the area when the incident took place.
"On January 3, 2018, he sent messages, telling his cousin to tell police that he picked him up in his car, and he knew nothing about that night.
"He refused and showed the Facebook messages to the police.
"The defendant has one previous conviction."
Swift, of Mount Gilbert, Arleston, Telford, pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice.
Mr Kevin Jones, defending Swift, said: "It was a rather strange person to ask for an alibi, given the animosity between the two of them and their families.
"He needs to learn to control his temper."
Judge Jonathan Gosling told Swift: "It is always serious to try and tell lies to avoid the consequences of prosecution. In this case, no lasting damage was caused.
"This was a hopeless attempt. You suggested that he picked you up when he couldn't even drive."
Swift was given a four-month jail term, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work.
He was also fined £50 and told to pay a victim surcharge of £115.
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