Mum’s sex bribe lie exposed

Crime story
Crime story
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A FARE-dodging Wigan mum told police officers a taxi driver had suggested he would accept sexual acts as payment, a court heard.

Leanne Heaver, of Holt Street, made the false claims after she was arrested for refusing to pay for a journey from Platt Bridge to Wigan town centre.

Magistrates labelled the journey “the most expensive taxi ride you’ll ever have” as the 33-year-old was ordered to pay almost £300 in fines, including compensation to the driver.

Mike Ardern, prosecuting, told a hearing at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court that Heaver had been picked up from Walthew Lane, Platt Bridge, in the early hours of April 5.

Once in the town centre, the defendant informed the driver, who was not named in court, she had no money and was told she would be driven to Wigan police station.

Officers spoke to Heaver and asked if she was prepared to pay the £8.10 fare. She was arrested when she refused and later gave false details to the police, the court was told.

Describing her police interview, Mr Ardern said: “Without going into too much detail, she said that if she had performed certain sexual acts, that would be accepted as payment by the driver.

“I would suggest that the police did not believe any detail of these allegations.”

Graham Simpson, defending, said: “This is a simple story, she had too much to drink, she accepts that.”

He added: “She apologises to the driver and has a full recognition of events.

“She throws away her good character in court today but in my humble opinion she will not appear before court again on her own standing.”

When asked by the presiding magistrate whether his client had made any reference to the false allegations against the taxi driver, Mr Simpson added: “She put forward that explanation, she has thought about it and she has now made her admissions to the court today.”

Heaver, who pleaded guilty to a fraud charge for not paying her fare and a charge of obstructing a police officer, was ordered to pay total fines of £279 including £28.10 to the driver for loss of earnings.

The presiding magistrate told Heaver: “When you got to the police station you were obstructive and you gave a tale that was not taken seriously and you have pleaded guilty.

“(The fines) are a reasonable amount in these circumstances.”