Friend given criminal record

AN unscrupulous friend who cheated justice for more than a year has finally got his comeuppance today.Robert Mason twice lied to police when he was caught drink driving by telling them he was actually Alexander Green, his boyhood friend.

AN unscrupulous friend who cheated justice for more than a year has finally got his comeuppance today.

Robert Mason twice lied to police when he was caught drink driving by telling them he was actually Alexander Green, his boyhood friend.

Mason, 41, even went to court posing as Mr Green in an attempt to evade justice which resulted in his innocent friend being given a criminal record, albeit temporarily.

Ipswich Crown Court heard that Mason, of Spenser Road, Ipswich, had been stopped by police when he was drunk behind the wheel in November 2005 and March 2007.

On both occasions he lied because he was already banned from driving and knew that he would almost certainly be sent to prison.

Godfried Duah, prosecuting, said: “(In March) his prints were taken and when they were checked they realised he was not Mr Green.”

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Once his cover-up was discovered Mason pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice at Ipswich Crown Court.

Craig Marchant, mitigating, said Mason had lied because he was heavily in debt and was desperate to stay out of prison so he could continue to earn money.

Mr Marchant read a statement from Mason which said: “I feel regret and remorseful about hurting Alex's name.

“I was a good friend of his since I was nine years old and if I could turn back the clock I would. I only thought about myself, not others, and I deserve what I get.”

Mason was sentenced to 12 months in prison by Judge Peter Thompson who told him: “You escaped a prison sentence by giving a false name and telling a lie.

“You were quite unscrupulous in using this name to get you out of deep trouble.”

Speaking to The Evening Star after the case Mr Green said: “It's water under the bridge and he's doing his bird (prison sentence).

“There's nothing else to say about it.”

July 30, 2004 - Mason is sentenced to 32 weeks in prison for driving when drunk and driving while disqualified.

November 17, 2005 - He is pulled over by police and gives his name as Alexander Green. He is later found to have 67mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35mcg.

November 23, 2005 - He appears at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court under Mr Green's name and is disqualified from driving for 16 months and fined £100 for drink-driving and no insurance.

November 25, 2005 - Police in Halesworth discover the fingerprints they took on November 17 did not belong to Mr Green but to Robert Mason, so Mr Green's name is cleared.

March 13, 2007 - Mason is pulled over again by police and once more says he is Mr Green. However a fingerprint search reveals his true identity and he is sentenced to 24 weeks in prison by magistrates for driving while disqualified and driving when more than three times the legal limit, as well as being disqualified from driving for five years.

May 3, 2007 - Mason is sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court to 12 months in prison for perverting the course of justice, to run consecutively to the prison term he is currently serving.

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