A HUSBAND has been jailed for perverting the course of justice after he lied on oath and submitted doctored bank statements to get out of making payments to his ex-wife.

Ian Hunt was jailed at Worcester Crown Court last Wednesday for doing a series acts intending and tending to pervert the course of public justice.

The prison sentence, handed out by Judge Nicolas Cartwright, resulted in sobbing from the public gallery as a woman declared 'I love you' as he was led away by dock officers.

The 55-year-old defendant of Cottage Lane, Marlbrook, Bromsgrove committed the offence between January 1, 2019 and July 3, 2019. His lies struck 'at the heart of the justice system' said the judge who jailed him, speaking of the importance of a deterrent sentence in cases of this sort.

Laying out the background, John Brotherton, prosecuting, said Hunt in 2015 was ordered by the family court following his divorce to pay his ex-wife approximately £3,500 per month in maintenance and child support.

At that stage he still earned £750,000 per year working in the oil and gas industry but was made redundant in 2016 when he immediately stopped paying the sum, Mr Brotherton said. Hunt got another job, claiming he earned between £35,000 and £40,000 per year and then made an application to the court to cease the payment to his ex-wife.

During this time he submitted various documents including bank statements from HSBC Dubai and was later cross-examined by a former barrister about the figures in a civil hearing over a two day period.

Legal counsel for the litigant had noticed that one of the statements contained a date of September 31 - 'a date which clearly doesn't exist' said Mr Brotherton. Hunt denied under oath he had created the documents himself.

Hunt was told to attend his bank and try and obtain bank statements from their system and 'clarify how the error had been made'.

Hunt eventually 'accepted HSBC did not created the documents and he had created them himself and he had lied on oath - that he had created those false bank statements' said Mr Brotherton.

"It's always a custodial sentence as your Honour knows" said Mr Brotherton.

Judge Nicolas Cartwright, sentencing, told Hunt he had 'persisted in your deception overnight into the following morning in order to try and mislead the court, working on the documents overnight which were your forgeries'.

He said 'astute' counsel in the civil case has asked him to go to properties of the documents and to click on authorship which disclosed that it was the defendant who had prepared separate accounts and converted them to a PDF document.

He added : "They were bank statements purporting to be from HSBC and other documents. You gave false evidence, producing forged bank documents created by yourself.

"It was through that that the game was up and you had to admit in court that you had done what you had. Perverting the course of public justice strikes at the heart of the justice system.

"It was not spontaneous as a lie that was told in the witness box in the heat of the moment. It was a planned and sophisticated attempt to deceive the court and the litigant on other side" said the judge.

He also said it was obvious that by his lies Hunt gained for himself a financial advantage 'otherwise you would have not have gone to those efforts to do what you did'.

The judge told him that an immediate custodial sentence was 'inevitable'. "It's clear that, for an offence of this kind, a deterrent sentence is required" he said.

He accepted that Hunt did not pose a risk or danger to the public and that there was a realistic prospect of rehabilitation. Hunt, a man of previous good character, did not have a history of poor compliance with court orders. An immediate custodial sentence would not have an immediate harmful impact upon others and there was 'no strong personal mitigation'.

However, he said: "This is not a case as serious as the cases involving Jeffery Archer and Jonathan Aitken which resulted in lengthy sentences of imprisonment."

However, he said it was 'more serious' than cases involving a person declaring that someone else was driving to avoid receiving penalty points for an offence.

Judge Cartwright jailed him for nine months, half of which Hunt can expect to serve in the community and half on licence.