Brother and sister deny giving false details to police in inquiry into car crash near Pelton Fell

The Northern Echo: Trial date set at Durham Crown Court for brother and sister accused of perverting the course of justice Trial date set at Durham Crown Court for brother and sister accused of perverting the course of justice

A MAN has appeared in court accused of giving false details to police to evade responsibility for a road accident.

Tony Christopher Cowan is charged with driving without due care and attention stemming from a single vehicle accident on a road near Pelton Fell, on the outskirts of Chester-le-Street, on May 17.

But he appeared at Durham Crown Court today along with his younger sister Karen Lorraine Dawson as both are also accused of doing an act likely to pervert the course of justice.

Mr Cowan is said to have rung the police to report the theft of the vehicle the previous evening, claiming he was not driving it at the time of the accident, as he said he was visiting his sister.

His account is said to have been backed by Ms Dawson.

Tony Davis, representing both accused, told the court that they are to deny the charges.

Liam O’Brien, prosecuting, said forensic tests are to be carried out on blood and skin samples taken from the car’s airbag and control panel to try to ascertain who was at the wheel at the time of the accident.

Judge Christopher Prince adjourned the hearing, setting a provisional trial date in the New Year.

Judge Prince bailed Mr Cowan, 28, and 26-year-old Ms Dawson, both of Ninth Avenue, Chester-le-Street, to return for the trial, set to last two days, starting on March 24.

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