18 month prison sentence for providing false alibi

A WOMAN who provided a false alibi for an armed robber, and urged his parents to provide them too, has been sent to prison.

Helena Rose Shoobridge, 36, pleaded guilty in the Ipswich District Court this week to attempting to provide a false alibi and procuring others to provide a false alibi to pervert the course of justice.

The court heard Shoobridge was living with her family in the house of a man who held up a Churchill service station with a knife.

Disguised by a scarf, the man escaped with $415 and cigarettes.

However he was identified by the licence plate number of his car which was noted by a witness and given to police.

The man was taken into police custody, but released on bail after Shoobridge and the man's parents provided alibis for the man at the time of the crime.

The three told police the man had been present in their house the entire morning of the crime.

The man's parents however recanted their alibis and told the police Shoobridge had urged them to lie to the police to get their son out of custody.

The man later admitted to the crime. After he was sentenced for the robbery, Shoobridge was arrested on charges of providing a false alibi and pressuring others to provide one.

The court heard Shoobridge was trying to ensure she could keep staying at the house and keep the $400 the man had paid her following the robbery.

Shoobridge sat with her head in her hands in the dock when the Crown prosecution called for her to be imprisoned for up to two years.

Judge Sarah Bradley said Shoobridge had acted entirely out of self interest to keep the money and to keep a roof over her head. The court heard the man had three prior convictions for armed robbery.

"(The alibi) did result in a serious offender being given bail," she said.

Justice Bradley said Shoobridge had failed to comply with probation and parole orders in the past, leaving her with little option but to imprison Shoobridge.

She was sentenced to 18 months' jail, with parole eligibility date of Christmas Eve.



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