A man from Burnley has been sentenced for perverting the course of justice after giving the details of a dead man following the thefts of two vans from a site he owned.

Mohammed Zishan Amjad, 36, appeared at Preston Crown Court earlier this week after pleading guilty to perverting the course of justice.

The court heard how on Monday, July 18, 2022, Amjad rang Lancashire Police to report two Ford Transit vans had been stolen from a business he owned, Pendle Commercial Vehicles Limited.

Prosecutor Holly Nelson told the court that in an interview with Amjad, of Eskdale Close, Burnley, and later in a written statement on Wednesday, August 17, 2022, he told the police he believed it was down to a man named Jordan Fairhurst, who he knew as a tenant leasing a unit he owned.

However, when police began to investigate, they quickly realised Mr Fairhurst had been pronounced dead a month earlier, and Amjad was lying for another reason.

On further investigation, they found a man named Gvido Trankalis had asked Amjad to lie to the police, providing him with a screenshot of Mr Fairhurst's driving licence on WhatsApp, for Trankalis' financial gain. 

Amjad has two previous convictions from two previous offences, including money laundering and intent to supply class A drugs.

In mitigation, Simon Csoka KC told the court Amjad lied to the police to "keep the peace" between him and Trankalis.

Mr Csoka said: "He has recently had a four month old baby, of which he is the main carer of whilst his wife is dealing with post-partum depression.

"He is also takes the main responsibility for his business and one that his wife also owns.

"He is utterly remorseful and regrets what he did."

Judge Richard Gioserano sentenced Amjad to 12 months in custody, suspended for two years, and ordered him to complete 200 hours of unpaid work.

Judge Gioserano said: "You feared you would be implicated in Trankalis' crime, so you wanted to keep the peace by agreeing to his requests.

"But the police did not fall for your lies for long, if at all. You must have known there was criminal intent behind Trankalis' intentions."

Trankalis will appear at Preston Crown Court this May.