Ex-soldier sent to jail over lies

Lee Grant outside Oxford Crown Court

Lee Grant outside Oxford Crown Court

First published in News

A FORMER soldier was arrested and spent 12 hours locked up in a police cell after a former colleague reported him for a made-up robbery.

Lee Grant was told by a judge that he had spun “a pack of lies” to try to get revenge on the friend, who was asking him to repay a debt.

The 25-year-old was sentenced to nine months in prison at Oxford Crown Court on Thursday after he admitted a charge of perverting the course of justice.

William Eaglestone, prosecuting, said Grant was a private in the army until earlier this year and had served under the command of Lance Corporal Phillip Powell.

He told Judge Peter Ross the two men were friends and the defendant had asked on May 7 if he could borrow £725, with a promise to repay double the amount in two days.

But Mr Eaglestone said Grant soon became “evasive” and blocked L Cpl Powell’s number when he tried to contact Grant about repayment of the money This led to L Cpl Powell visiting his friend’s home in Fosters Road, Abingdon, and taking Grant’s iPad mini until he paid back the £725 which was still owed, the barrister said.

But Mr Eaglestone said later that day the defendant contacted the police, claiming that L Cpl Powell had come to his door, grabbed him by the throat, forced him to transfer £595 and stolen his iPad.

Mr Eaglestone told the court that police officers acted on this information and arrested L Cpl Powell outside his flat in Banbury Road, Oxford, on June 4.

He was kept in custody for 13 hours, 12 of which were spent in a police cell, Mr Eaglestone said.

Grant’s victim said in a statement he felt “so embarrassed” after being arrested and handcuffed in the street outside his home, and was “shocked” when he learned that his former friend and colleague had lied to the police about him.

Graham Bennett, defending, said his client had come up with “a ridiculous concoction of events” and deeply regretted what he had done.

Passing sentence, Judge Ross told Grant he had spun “a pack of lies” to try to get his former colleague arrested, and a prison sentence was the only appropriate punishment for what he had done. He also told him to pay a £100 victims’ surcharge.

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