A Warwick man forged a letter from his doctor in an attempt to get magistrates to set aside his conviction for fraudulently selling a stolen mobile phone.
And at Warwick Crown Court, Leigh Rehman, aged 28, of Reignier Place, Heathcote, Warwick, pleaded guilty to doing an act intended to pervert the course of justice.
He was jailed for three months, consecutive to a one-week sentence he was given for the fraud, and was ordered to pay £312 compensation to O2 and £500 costs.
Prosecutor Peter Grieves-Smith said that while Rehman was working for O2 in 2011 he fraudulently obtained a £312 iPhone through a client’s account and then sold it.
The offence came to light after the client, SJ Financial Services, complained to O2 that they were paying for a phone they did not own.
The police were contacted and Rehman was arrested and charged with fraud, which he denied. He was found guilty in his absence after failing to turn up at the magistrates court in Leamington for his trial in January this year.
In an attempt to persuade the magistrates to set aside his conviction, he then produced a letter from his doctor explaining that he suffers from Crohn’s disease and was in hospital on the day of his trial.
But it was subsequently discovered that the letter was a forgery, said Mr Grieves-Smith, who added that Rehman had a number of previous convictions for offences of dishonesty.
Pratesh Chauhan, defending, said the pre-sentence report showed Rehman’s remorse for the offences.
He and his wife had planned that she would be off work to care for their young child. But as a result of what he has done, which led to him being remanded in custody following his arrest for perverting the course of justice, she has had to rush back to work.
Mr Chauhan said: “Why on earth has this offence been committed? It was born out of pure panic and desperation.”
Jailing Rehman, Recorder Jalil Asif QC told him: “I accept the fraud matter is at the bottom end of the scale; but the offence of perverting the course of justice is far more serious.
“It seems to me a suspended sentence would not be appropriate for this offence, but it may be you will be released from prison within a matter of days.”