A teenage girl who falsely accused an innocent driver of pretending to be a police officer and ordering her to “get out of the f***ing car” later blamed her lie for how Sarah Everard’s murder affected her.
Olivia Johnson, of Blakenall, Walsall, West Midlands, ‘made up’ the tale which later landed the 66-year-old in custody, a court heard.
The 19-year-old claimed the motorist gestured for her to stop her Volkswagen Polo and then shouted: “Get out of the f***ing car, it’s a stolen f***ing car”.
But the 66-year-old actually pointed his light at her to “help” because she didn’t have her own light on.
He said that he was trying to help because it was getting dark and it was raining “torrentially” – and he didn’t say a word to her.
However, a few hours later, Johnson reported him to the police and made up that he was impersonating a police officer. She maintained the account for four days, presenting herself “as a victim.”
But her story came to light after a careful review of CCTV and an extensive police investigation.
Prosecutors said she blamed her actions for Sarah Everard’s death. Sarah was abducted, raped and killed by Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Cousens last March.
Johnson, of Stag Crescent in Blakenall, Walsall, West Midlands, pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice. She cried as she was sentenced to eight months in a juvenile detention center on Thursday [July 7]
The victim, who was distraught by the ordeal, remained a suspect for more than two months until his case was closed on Christmas Eve.
Johnson pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice. She cried as she was sentenced to eight months in a juvenile detention center on Thursday (July 7th).
Sentencing at Birmingham Crown Court, Melbourne Judge Inman QC said the crime “undermines all public justice”.
The collision between Johnson and the victim happened at around 3.10pm on October 4 last year when she was driving along Bentley Mill Way, Walsall, and noticed a Nissan Juke behind her.
The teenager blamed his actions on the death of Sarah Everard (pictured), who was abducted, raped and killed by Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Cousins last March.
Prosecutor John Brotherton, in his statement, repeated the story she later told police.
Mr Brotherton said: “She said he flashed her numerous times and motioned for her to stop. She stopped the car. The driver got out and approached the driver’s side of his Polo.
“She opened the window a little to talk to him. He said, “Get the f***ing car out, it’s a stolen f***ing car.” He tried to open the door. Ms Johnson said: “It’s my car, I’ve got proof it’s my car.” I’ll show you.”
“The man said: ‘Leave now, I’m a policeman.’ The defendant asked to show his badge. He replied, “I don’t have a badge” and tried to open the back door. She tried to drive away when she received a final blow to the car. She said she feared for her own safety.’
The prosecutor said Johnson parked at Reedswood Retail Park and reported the “incident” at 6.56pm via West Midlands Police live chat. The driver was detained the next day.
Johnson was unable to identify him during identification.
Mr Brotherton added: “He is mentally disturbed and has been since the incident. He was very shocked.
“He was just trying to help by flashing his headlights. It affected his wife and children. He has been in custody for almost a day.
“He was petrified, he was going to accuse. He felt stunned and criminalized. He can’t put into words how upset he is about this.”
The case was not closed until December 24, despite the Crown Prosecution Service taking an “advance decision” not to charge him with impersonating a police officer.
Sentencing at Birmingham Crown Court, Judge Melbourne Inman QC said the crime “undermines all public justice”
Judge Inman said there had been a “significant amount of work” to investigate Johnson’s claim, which came to light after CCTV footage from the incident was reviewed.
She blamed her actions for the death of Sarah Everard. Sarah was abducted, raped and killed by Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Cousens last March.
Mr Brotherton said: “The informant mentioned throughout his police interview his concern for Sarah Everard, how it affected her and why she acted the way she did.”
Joshua Purser, mitigating, admitted his client had “conjured up an incredibly dangerous invention”.
Mr Purser said: “Behind me stands a girl, disgraced, embarrassed and this morning stunned by the reality of this fantasy she created on an innocent man.”
He said a psychiatrist diagnosed Johnson, now 20, with “borderline personality disorder” while her home life at the time was “far from simple”.
Mr Purser told the court his client suffered from anxiety and depression, adding: “The whole story was triggered by a panic attack while driving where she heard voices.
Murderous cop Wayne Couzens used Covid laws to stop, handcuff and falsely arrest Sarah Everard before strangling her with “his police belt”, the Old Bailey heard – he spent hours roaming the streets of Central London looking for a lone woman to attack . Cousens, 48, handcuffed the 33-year-old marketing executive behind her back, preventing her from unbuckling the seat belt he had fastened on her after ordering her into the back of a rental car
“These accusations arose rather inappropriately from the voices she heard at the time.
“She admits to me how stupid she is. The reality is that she is not so stupid that she cannot be rehabilitated.’
The judge acknowledged Johnson’s mental health problems but concluded they were not the reason she persisted with her false account for four days.
Judge Inman said: “You sought to present yourself as a victim. The writer of the pre-sentence report mentions that you said you understood that what you told the police was untrue and a lie. It wasn’t a case of being tricked.
“Those who commit an offense like this, make serious charges and innocent people suffer as a result, should expect immediate imprisonment, regardless of mitigation. The offense of perverting public justice undermines all public justice.”
Judge Inman reduced the prison term based on Johnson’s age, guilty plea and no criminal record.
But he ruled there were no “exceptional circumstances” to justify a suspended sentence.