A MAN lied to police about his car being stolen after a friend was caught driving it towards a police officer in Warrington town centre.

Benjamin Stott reported his car as stolen, despite being aware his friend was driving it and claimed the keys had been taken by someone at a party.

On the same day, December 29 at 4am, the Golf, registered to Stott, was involved in an incident in Warrington town centre.

Stott, 35, appeared before Liverpool Crown Court on Friday, after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing.

He received a six-month sentence, suspended for 18 months.

Paul Becker, prosecuting, told the court a policeman was on foot patrol in the pedestrian area of the town centre when he saw a Golf driving towards him.

He stated how as vehicles were banned on the street, the officer approached the vehicle and put his hand on the bonnet to talk to the driver.

As the officer opened the car door, the driver drove off with the door open which hit a member of the public and caused other pedestrians to move out of the way.

The Golf sustained damage to the window screen and the bumper.

Stott, of Gaskell Avenue, Latchford, was the registered driver of the car, but it was not him driving.

He originally denied involvement and knowledge and said he asked a friend to move his car.

Mr Becker stated how a phone call was downloaded between the two defendants, as well as messages, one which claimed: ‘Gonna ring my car as stolen.’

The co-defendant, Stott’s friend, later handed himself in at the police station and admitted it was him driving.

Defending, Michael Scholes said: ‘‘He accepts and pleaded guilty that he gave information that was misleading to the police.

‘‘The defendant was in hospital with a chronic illness.

‘‘Although he was very stupid, it may be that his thinking was hampered to some extent.’’

Mr Scholes also stated how Stott became panicked when he found out his vehicle was not parked outside his house, so called the police.

He also told the court that it was no coincidence that Stott’s co-defendant surrendered, as this is what Stott wanted him to do.

Judge Harris concluded: ‘‘When people lie about offences, I consider the seriousness, persistence, and effect on the degree of justice.

‘‘It was a short episode, which persisted in denial until a few days before your trial.

‘‘You had the sense to eventually plead guilty.’’

Judge Harris stated how the mitigating factors were Stott’s health, the fact someone relied on him for care, and the fact he paid the cost of repairing the car of £2,720.

Stott received a six-month suspended sentence for 18 months and 15 days of rehabilitation activity.