A MAN who burgled a family home produced an inventive but fundamentally flawed document in an attempt to clear his name, a court was told.
Michael Kieran Gough sent his lawyer documents purporting to be transcripts of telephone conversations between himself and an accomplice which portrayed the other man as the burglar and him as a “handler” only, Durham Crown Court heard today (Tuesday, April 29).
The fraud was quickly spotted, however, as the documents were littered with spelling and grammatical errors and their alleged author, a fictional Holme House Prison officer named Paul Weston, showed up on no record checks.
Philip Morris, for Gough, said: “It’s an inventive but fundamentally flawed attempted to deceive. One immediately smells a rat.
“All this allowed was for the police to metaphorically rub their hands in glee, because he had committed a much more serious crime.”
Prosecutor Peter Sabiston said it was a very poor effort and Recorder Peter Atherton told Gough he had cobbled together a hopelessly ill-punctuated document which was easily seen-through by the police.
It was not Gough’s first attempt to pervert the course of justice, however.
In 2012, after burgling his grandmother’s home, on Lime Road, Ferryhill, County Durham, he wrote to her from prison urging her to drop the charges. That scheme also failed and Gough was eventually sentenced to eight months behind bars.
The 21-year-old’s latest attempted cover-up came after he stole a Blackberry mobile device from a house on Raby Road, Ferryhill, last April.
A family of five was asleep upstairs at the time and the mother was left feeling nervous and vulnerable, the court heard.
Gough, of Manor View, Ferryhill, admitted burglary and attempting to pervert the course of justice.
In mitigation, Mr Morris said his client had undergone a belated Damascene experience on learning his mother was seriously ill and wanted to get through his prison sentence as quickly as possible.
Recorder Atherton sentenced Gough, a so-called “three strikes burglar”, to two years and 11 months in jail. He will also have to pay a £120 victim surcharge.