MP Faces Allegation of Perverting the Course of Public Justice
Fiona Onasanya is accused of perverting the course of justice but jurors have heard claims that it was in fact a Russian man was behind the wheel when her vehicle was captured travelling at 41 mph in a 30 mph zone in July 2017.
The defendant, Ms Onasanya denies one allegation of perverting the course of justice which is an offence we looked at recently in our article here.
QC David Jeremy, Prosecuting said that the MP and her brother, Festus had “acted jointly in telling lies”. The Court heaard that Ms Onasanya who serves as MP for Peterborough was sent a Notice of Intended Prosecution after her car was captured speeding by a camera in Thorney on 24 July 2017. The NIP requires the registered keeper to identify who was driving at the time of the alleged offence and Ms Onasanya returned the paperwork naming Aleks Antipow as the driver.
Mr Jeremy submitted that Mr Antipow was the previous tenant of the property that the defendant, Ms Onasanya had rented with her brother in Cambridge. The court also heard that Mr Antipow was actually at home in Russia at the time of the incident and could never have driven the vehicle. Further, Mr Jeremy submitted that in providing a real name but false address and telephone number, Ms Onasanya was trying to make Mr Antipow “untraceable” so that the real driver of the vehicle would escape prosecution.
The court was also told that Festus Onasanya, the defendant’s brother had also utilised the exact same tactics when his car was caught speeding on two occasions in 2017. Mr Jeremy accused Ms Onasanya, who is herself a solicitor, of “adopting her brother’s method of evading prosecution”. He told the court that “The two of them were acting jointly in telling lies in order to prevent the prosecution of the true driver.
Mr Jeremy told jurors that whilst he accepted Ms Onasanya was a busy person, she had “trapped” herself in lies when she adopted her brother’s method of trying to make speeding prosecutions disappear. He said: “ “This case may have started as a case about an offence of speeding. It has become, as a result of the choices made by Miss Onasanya, a case about lying. Lying persistently and deliberately. Lying all the way to this court, maybe about lying in this court.”
On 05 November, Festus Onasanya pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey to three counts of perverting the course of justice and Mr Jeremy told jurors: “The question for you to decide in this case will be whether Festus Onasanya was acting alone or whether the two of them were acting together.”
Mr Onasanya has been bailed until the end of his sisters’ trial when he will be sentenced and both of them face terms of imprisonment for this offence.