Mother and son jailed for lying about crash

The accident happened at Tesco, Bathgate.
The accident happened at Tesco, Bathgate.
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A mother and son who created a “concoction of lies” about a minor bump in a supermarket car park have both been jailed.

Katherine Whalen, 58, went to extraordinary lengths to prevent police finding out her son Thomas, 24, was driving at the time of the accident.

The pair even took photographs of her 4.0 litre Jeep Cherokee with the driver’s window in various positions in a desperate bid to prove the driver’s face could not be seen from a distance.

The mum insisted she’d been driving at the time of the crash in Tesco’s car park in Bathgate. But witnesses gave evidence that her son, an uninsured learner driver, was at the wheel.

Mother and son were both found guilty after trial of attempting to pervert the course of justice following the incident on October 8 last year.

Katherine Whalen was also found guilty of causing or permitting her son to drive her car without L-plates or insurance.

In addition, Thomas Whalen was convicted of driving while uninsured on a provisional licence without displaying L-plates.

Passing sentence on them yesterday Sheriff Martin Edington was scathing about their attempts to conceal the truth.

He reminded them that the owner of the other car had generously offered to let them pay for the damage they’d caused even though Thomas was uninsured, but they had reneged on the deal.

He said they’d gone to considerable lengths to “create a concoction of lies:” to pervert the course of justice and said they had maintained their innocence despite “compelling evidence” against them.

He told them: “That means you expressed no guilt, remorse or regret for what you did.

“I’ve come to the conclusion that charge one is so serious that only a custodial sentence is appropriate to punish you and to deter other people from acting as you have done.”

He sentenced each of the accused to 120 days in prison and banned them from driving for six months. He also fined them both £1250 each with no time to pay and imposed the alternative of 28 days in custody.