A LAW student who spun a web of lies in order to get out of a speeding ticket, has been spared jail ‘in exceptional circumstances’.

Vanessa Cooke, of Combe Road in Stonesfield, near Witney, was found guilty of perverting the course of justice when her car was seen speeding at 53mph in a 30mph zone.

The mother-of-four was found to have falsely put forward her uncle as the driver of the car at the time it was caught speeding.

During the trial, prosecutors at Oxford Crown Court told jurors that the 41 year old had submitted a false ‘section 172’ form, nominating her uncle as the driver.

She was also found to have lied, to support her claim, about her son having been injured at school, claiming her uncle was rushing to pick him up when it happened.

The car was found speeding on the A44 near Blenheim Palace on February 6, 2017.

However, a trial heard how the school maintained the incident with the defendant's son, in fact took place on February 10.

Jurors found the business owner, who was also studying law with a view to one day continuing her studies at Oxford Brookes University, guilty on May 10, after four hours and 32 minutes of deliberation.

She was sentenced yesterday at Oxford Crown Court and spared jail under ‘exceptional circumstances’ according to presiding judge Maria Lamb.

During the sentencing the defendant broke down in tears.

Judge Lamb said: “You fall to be sentenced at this court on the offence of perverting the course of justice. In case you were in any doubt this is a very serious offence and attracts, almost inevitably, a sentence of immediate imprisonment.”

The judge said the defendant’s actions were "thoroughly dishonest" and said she had “no doubt" Cooke knew who was driving when the car was caught breaking the law.

She added: “You are a woman of previous good character, there had been no offending since, and you are going to suffer as this offence has put an end to any further studies in law.”

The judge said she had considered the defendant’s defence council’s submissions regarding Ms Cooke as a single mother-of-four and solely responsible for two of her children.

Oxford Crown Court heard how Cooke has no family in the country and therefore had been trying to make arrangements for friends to look after her children as to avoid them going into care if she was imprisoned.

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Judge Lamb said "although it goes against the grain" she sentenced Cooke to four months imprisonment suspended for 18 months.

She said this was "an exceptional circumstance" when handing out the sentence.

Cooke was also ordered to make time as a busy business owner and mother of four to undertake 150 hours of unpaid work and told to pay a fine of £3,000 within the next six months for court costs including the earlier trial.