Lisa Philips lied over pregnancy to avoid jail

Image source, PA
Image caption,
Lisa Philips, who has a 16-year-old son, took £14,700 from her aunt Tracy Sedgewick

A mother who lied to court that she was pregnant in a bid to avoid prison has been jailed for five months.

Lisa Philips, 37, had originally been given a suspended sentence for stealing £14,700 from her aunt.

Philips, from Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, lied on arrest and to probation officers, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Judge Peter Armstrong said it would be "wholly unjust" if she avoided jail again.

Having handed out the original suspended sentence he said she had only missed jail the first time because of "bogus mitigation".

After Philips' due date she showed probation service staff pictures of a child she claimed to be her baby but then later said she had lost it.

When challenged she finally agreed she had lied to police.

Prosecutor Paul Cleasby said once the lie had been told "she simply could not retract."

When Philips avoided jail last year, she was photographed by the press holding her "bump" as she left court.

Ben Pegman, defending, said she was "genuinely sorry, embarrassed and ashamed for her actions".

Mother-of-one Philips, from Eskdale Place, admitted perverting the course of justice.

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