Prison looms for Plaistow motorist after ‘police lies’

12:00 17 July 2012

A driver is facing jail for convincing a friend to wrongly report her car as stolen after it was involved in a shooting.

Tayo Shodunke, 22, of Sutton Road, Plaistow, persuaded Sophia Cran-Mensah, also 22, of Ilford, to tell police her Toyota Celica had been stolen by a friend the day after the shooting in Blackwater Close, West Ham.

The car was found with its tyres shot out and a loaded pump-action shotgun was in the footwell.

Cran-Mensah told police a fictitious man, called Jay Thomas, had taken it from her when in reality Shodunke had been driving it on May 18, 2010.

He was convicted of perverting the course of justice at Inner London Crown Court after the police probe into the shooting collapsed.

Cran-Mensah was cleared after the jury accepted she had no knowledge of Shodunke’s intentions.

Prosecutor Martin Hooper told the jury that vital forensic tests could not be carried out as police searched for the wrong suspect.

“The link to Mr Shodunke wasn’t made until police examined telephone evidence and saw the contact between the co-defendants.

“However this was too late because Mr Shodunke’s clothing was unable to be examined for shotgun residue, and it was lost to them.”

Shodunke handed himself over to police in February 2011. He was originally charged with possessing a firearm which was later dropped. He will be sentenced on July 19.

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