A WOMAN who falsely reported that her home had been burgled and her car was stolen has been jailed for ten months.

Emma Mary Thompson made the report to police on November 3, 2020, claiming there had been a “sneak in” burglary at her home while she slept the previous night, having left the door unlocked.

But Durham Crown Court heard that by the time she made that report, her extensively damaged Skoda Fabia car had been found in a lane near to sewerage works in Sacriston.

The airbags were found to have deployed as the car appeared to have been involved in a collision.

Ian West, prosecuting, told the court that prior to that sequence of events, a householder reported that at 2am that day he was woken by a loud bang and went out to find his Volkswagan Passat, parked outside his home, had been shunted three to four metres down the road.

Items of damaged car litter from another vehicle were found on the road nearby, but no other car was present and no note was left from anyone claiming responsibility for an accident.

Several months later a dna lift from the Fabia’s airbags provided a match with Thompson, who was invited to attend a police station for interview, on February 25, 2021, when she gave “no reply” to questions.

By the time the 37-year-old defendant, of Little Burn Way, Pelton Fell, appeared at magistrates’ court she “indicated” a guilty plea and admitted the charge at a hearing at the crown court earlier this month.

Read more: County Durham woman admits making false report to police

Mr West told the sentencing hearing that of relevance she has a conviction for obtaining property and wasting police time over an insurance pay out she received, having reported the theft of her car, which was found damaged beyond repair, in 2006.

It emerged it had been crashed by the person to whom she had given the keys, an ex-boyfriend, and that it had not been stolen.

Mr West said that Thompson admitted another “fail to stop collision”, for which she was fined, in 2011.

The court heard the owner of the Passat in the latest case has been caused difficulty as it is uneconomical to repair the car, which he used to attend regular hospital appointments following a cancer diagnosis in April 2020.

Mr West said the owner, who cannot afford to buy a new car, is now reliant on patient transport to attend hospital appointments

Andrew Walker, for Thompson, said fortunately, “no great police resources were expended in trying to find the suspected burglar”, in this case, and he claimed there was "no pattern" of such offending by the defendant.

But Judge James Adkin said, “to the contrary”, that there was a pattern, albeit over time, relating to the three convictions on her record.

Mr Walker described the latest offence as, “crude and probably doomed to failure”, but Judge Adkin responded that she had not confessed prior to the dna results emerging, more than three month later, and even then, said nothing in interview.

“She doesn’t ring up the police in the meantime and say: ‘I have told a pack of lies’.”

Jailing her, Judge Adkin said given the “nature of the deceptive conduct” and the need to send out a deterrent message, the sentence could not be suspended.

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