Fiona Onasanya plotted with brother to evade speeding prosecution, court told
PUBLISHED: 17:01 13 November 2018
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A Labour MP plotted with her brother to evade a speeding prosecution by claiming a Russian man had been behind the wheel, a court has heard.
Fiona Onasanya, MP for Peterborough, is on trial at the Old Bailey accused of perverting the course of justice.
At 10.03pm on July 24 last year, her Nissan Micra was allegedly caught by a speed camera doing 41mph in a 30mph zone on The Causeway in the village of Thorney, in Cambridgeshire.
Trained solicitor Onasanya, 35, was sent a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP), which was sent back naming Aleks Antipow as the driver, jurors heard.
But the court was told he was at home with his parents in Russia at the time.
Prosecutor David Jeremy QC said Onasanya was connected with Mr Antipow through a property that she and her brother, Festus Onasanya, had rented in Chesterton, Cambridge.
Mr Antipow had lived at that address between August and September 2016, jurors were told.
The contact details given for Mr Antipow were not his true address and telephone number, but were connected to the defendant’s brother, the court heard.
Mr Jeremy said: “The purpose in providing the name of a real person as the driver, but providing a false address and telephone number that were connected to Festus Onasanya, was that Mr Antipow, while a real person, would remain untraceable to the police, and so the true driver of Miss Onasanya’s car on the 24th July 2017 would escape prosecution.”
Festus Onasanya had deployed the tactic when his car was caught by a speed camera on June 17 and August 23 last year, jurors heard.
The prosecutor said: “It must, as some of us may know, be very irritating to receive that bit of paper telling us that we have triggered a speed camera and asking us to name the driver of the car.
“But while irritation is understandable, telling lies to frustrate an investigation into an offence is not.
“What Miss Onasanya did when her vehicle was trapped on the 24th July 2017, was not just to own up and tell the truth, which would have been so much better, but to adopt 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.”
Last Monday, Festus Onasanya, 33, of Chesterton, Cambridge, pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey to perverting the course of justice in relation to the two occasions when his car triggered speed cameras, and in relation to the July 24 incident.
Mr Jeremy told jurors: “The question for you to decide in this case will be whether Festus Onasanya was acting alone when he perverted the course of justice in relation to the trapping of Miss Onasanya’s car on the 24th, or whether the two of them were acting together.”
Onasanya, from Peterborough, has denied one count of perverting the course of justice.
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