Perverting the Course of Justice Charges in NSW

Image credit: Rose Makin

A police officer in London is facing the possibility of jail time for allegedly perverting the course of justice after attempting to frame his innocent ex-girlfriend for murder.

It is reported that South Wales Police Constable Abubakar Masum accused his 23-year-old ex-partner, Mia Pitman, of a series of bogus crimes through anonymous tip-offs after she broke up with him.

According to accounts that unfolded in Cardiff Crown Court, Mr Masum, 24, became “obsessed” with Ms Pitman after she dumped the man following finding out that during the course of their relationship, he was seeing another woman.

As such, the police officer soon began making “false, untrue and malicious” claims against her and other men in calls to Crimestoppers, during which he remained anonymous.

Shortly after the nameless tips, Ms Pitman, who is presently studying criminology at university and working part-time at Tesco at Swansea Marina, found herself arrested by officers from Swansea Police in the middle of stacking shelves, believed to be an armed criminal.

The woman, who had hoped to enter the police force one day, also had her university accommodation raided by an additional 20 armed police officers, who were trying to find a gun.

Indeed, the gun did not exist.

See here for more on murder charges in New South Wales.

Swansea Police Start to Suspect More to the Strange Ordeal Following Repeated “Malicious” Calls

With no weapon found among Ms Pitman’s belongings and the repeated anonymous calls slowly becoming more “malicious”, it wasn’t long before Swansea Police started to suspect there was more to the matter.

In fact, amongst the phone calls to Crimestoppers, the bizarre list of accusations against Ms Pitman included shooting dead an Albanian gangster, hiding a gun in her garden, and scheming murders with fellow Tesco staff.

In one phone call, it was even reported, “Mia Pitman is storing is a handgun on behalf of Leon Croucher. He is a known Class A drug dealer”.

The call carried on with an elaborate story that Ms Pitman and her colleague – a Mr Croucher – “planned to shoot” a man who allegedly owed them drug money.

Now convinced the accusations were forged, Swansea Police arrested Mr Masum.

When questioned by officers, the man admitted to making all of the calls, however, explained they were “in good faith” from real posts he had witnessed on Ms Pitman’s Snapchat.

In March 2022, Mr Masum faced Cardiff Crown Court over the matter where it was heard he “felt he had to make the reports because he feared for his own safety”.

The 24-year-old denied two counts of perverting the course of justice and unauthorised access of a police computer.

Nevertheless, following a two-week trial, he was found guilty.

Following his verdict being handed down, Mr Masum’s barrister, Graham Trembath QC, requested his client be granted bail so he could complete a house sale.

However, Judge Michael Fitton remanded him in custody.

“The nature of the offence means it is inevitable you will be met with a substantial sentence of immediate imprisonment,” Judge Fitton said to the man.

“Put in a nutshell, I don’t trust you.”

Mr Masum is due to be sentenced next month.

Perverting the Course of Justice

In the context of perverting the course of justice, the objective of the criminal justice system is to be fair and impartial, which means protecting the innocent, convicting criminals, and delivering a justice process that is unbiased with the appropriate consequences for offenders.

In line with this, perverting the course of justice – that is, attempting to interfere with legal systems or deceive authorities – is deemed an obstruction to the justice system and taken very seriously by the courts.

In fact, depending on what state you are in, the penalties can be as harsh as jail time.

If you are in NSW, pursuant to section 319 of the Crimes Act 1900, any act or omission which is carried out by a person that is intended to obstruct, prevent, pervert, or defeat the course of justice or the administration of the law, can attract a maximum penalty of 14 years imprisonment.

It should be noted that under the law, simply attempting to pervert the course of justice can result in a person being guilty of perverting the course of justice.

Examples of such acts can include bribing a police officer or authority, asking a doctor to provide a false medical certificate, inciting someone to plead guilty to an offence they were not involved with, lying to an authority under oath in court.

To be convicted of this offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that any act or any omission was carried out, and that it was done with the intention to pervert the course of justice.

Click here for more on defences to a charge of perverting the course of justice.

 

By Sahar Adatia.

About Criminal Defence Lawyers Australia

Criminal Defence Lawyers Australia are Leading Criminal Defence Lawyers, Delivering Exceptional Results in all Australian Courts.

FEATURED ON:

  What Our Clients Say

Alex Istifan was diligent and articulate as a criminal defence lawyer that I had the pleasure of working with and entrusting. His Impeccable expertise and ability to speak with confidence… (read full review) By K from Sydney on 29/04/2022
Thank you Bashir! You did a great job on my case and I could not have asked for more effort and passion into my case! I received a non conviction… (read full review) By R.S.O. from Sydney on 02/05/2022
Senior lawyer Ahmad represented me for a common assault charge and AVO. He successfully pulled apart the prosecution case with ease. He got me the best possible result and the… (read full review) By J.M. from Sydney on 06/04/2022
Alex Istifan represented me in court and was exceptional in his preparation and approach to my case! I can't express my gratitude and appreciation enough. I would recommend these lawyers… (read full review) By F.M. from Sydney on 06/04/2022
Tayla and Ahmad were absolutely hands down amazing at what they did for my case. They went above and beyond to get me the result I did. I can't recommend… (read full review) By R.C. from Sydney on 08/04/2022

Free Conference Booking Form

Follow Us