Man who lied to court about his child being seriously ill to gain bail is jailed for perverting the course of justice

A man who lied to a court to get bail, telling a judge that his infant son was so unwell that he’d had to undergo multiple invasive brain surgeries, has been jailed for more than two years.


Carl Sumner, 40, of Barrow was due to begin trial for perverting the course of justice yesterday (31 October) at Burnley Crown Court but instead entered a guilty plea.


The court heard how Sumner had twice previously been denied bail when he made a third application which came before Carlisle Crown Court on 5 December 2022.


In that application he told the court that he had learned his infant son was very unwell in Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital and had recently undergone two invasive brain surgeries.


He told the court that his request for bail was so that he could assist’s his child’s mother in caring for the child and supporting the family.


He had gone to great lengths to provide evidence in support of his bail application. The court heard how he had provided email correspondence from a prison officer at HMP Durham who confirmed he had phoned the hospital on Sumner’s behalf multiple times.


On the basis of the circumstances Sumner presented and the evidence in support, the bail application was not contested by the prosecution and granted on 5 December 2022.


However, further enquiries established that the child was not in hospital and had not undergone brain surgery.


When interviewed by police about the lies, he claimed he had himself been the victim of a hoax, saying he had believed his son was in hospital because an unknown person had written to him telling him so. He said that he only learned the truth a couple of days after he was bailed.


He also told officers that the nurses he claimed to have spoken to on the phone – as well as a consultant – must have all got his child confused with another child when providing him updates.


Despite these claims, Sumner was to admit perverting the course of justice and was sentenced to 25 months in prison on 31 October 2023.


Detective Constable Graeme Benson said: “Lying to a court in order to obtain bail is an extremely serious offence.


“In this instance, the actions are made all the worse due to the nature of the lies – inventing a serious illness for your infant child in order to secure bail from a court.


“When Sumner was released, he likely thought he had outwitted the police, the courts and the prison system. However, our investigations were to not only prove his falsehoods but to result in him receiving a significant prison sentence for perverting the course of justice.”

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