Mother sentenced for providing false alibi for her son


A 44 year old woman has today been sentenced to two years in prison at Liverpool Crown Court for providing a false alibi for her son who was responsible for the murder of 18 year old Jon-Jo Highton in Preston in August 2014. She was also sentenced to three months for a burglary offence.

Allison Threllfall told police that her son, Owen Whitesmith, was at home at the time the murder was committed by him and fellow gang members.

Brett Gerrity Senior Crown Prosecutor, CPS North West, said: "At the centre of this case is the tragic death of an 18 year old man who was brutally killed in a gang attack.

"Allison Threlfall claimed that her son was at home in his bedroom at the time the murder was committed.  However during the murder trial evidence was heard which proved that not only was he not where she claimed he was at that time, but he had in fact played a crucial part in organising and carrying out the attack.

"When later challenged by the police as to the accuracy of her original statement, she then claimed she had made a mistake by getting the times mixed up, even though it had only been a matter of a few hours between the time of the murder and the time that the police spoke to her. By carrying out this misguided act of loyalty to her son, she in fact attempted to divert police attention away from him which could have potentially jeopardised the investigation.

"On the day the trial was due to start, she finally admitted she had deliberately committed an act with intent to pervert the course of justice.

"This case send out a clear message to those who wish to provide false information to the police, we take these offences extremely seriously and will work tirelessly to bring those who commit such offences before the courts."

Note to editors:

Owen Whitesmith was found guilty of murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment and ordered to serve a minimum of 27 years.

The three month sentence is consecutive to the two years' imprisonment - a total sentence of 27 months.