Cambridgeshire

MP Fiona Onasanya 'lied to avoid speeding prosecution'

Fiona Onasanya Image copyright PA
Image caption Fiona Onasanya denies perverting the course of justice

A Labour MP plotted with her brother to evade a speeding prosecution, a court has heard.

Fiona Onasanya claimed a Russian man was behind the wheel when her Nissan Micra was clocked doing 41mph in a 30mph zone in July last year, jurors at the Old Bailey were told.

Ms Onasanya, 35, denies one count of perverting the course of justice.

Prosecutor David Jeremy QC said the MP and her brother Festus Onasanya had "acted jointly in telling lies".

The court was told Ms Onasanya, who is the MP for Peterborough, was sent a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) after her car was clocked by a speed camera in Thorney, near Peterborough, on 24 July last year.

She returned the paperwork naming Aleks Antipow as the driver, jurors heard.

Mr Jeremy said Mr Antipow was the previous tenant of a property that Ms Onasanya and her brother had rented in Cambridge.

The court heard that Mr Antipow was at home in Russia at the time of the incident and had never driven the MP's car.

Mr Jeremy said that providing a real name but false address and telephone number meant Mr Antipow "would remain untraceable", so that "the true driver of Miss Onasanya's car would escape prosecution".

Image copyright PA
Image caption Festus Onasanya has pleaded guilty to three counts of perverting the course of justice

The court was told the MP's brother, Festus Onasanya, had also "deployed the tactic" when his car was caught by a speed camera on two occasions last year.

Mr Jeremy accused Ms Onasanya, who is a solicitor, of "adopting her brother's method of evading prosecution".

"The two of them were acting jointly in telling lies in order to prevent the prosecution of the true driver," he said.

Mr Jeremy told jurors that Ms Onasanya was a busy person but had "trapped" herself in lies by adopting her brother's methods of making a speeding prosecution 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 5 November, Mr Onasanya, 33, of Chesterton, Cambridge, pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey to three counts of perverting the course of justice.

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 sister's trial, when he will be sentenced.

The trial continues.

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