A Metropolitan Police officer has been given a three year prison sentence for perverting the course of justice.
Hitesh Lakhani, of Central West Command Unit, made a false report that a Hillingdon Council street cleaner had committed a serious sexual offence against a five year old child in the street in Uxbridge, following a dispute over hedge trimmings. Lakhani reported the crime via 101, supplied a photograph of the Council employee and a statement in which he declared that his account was true. During the course of the investigation, CCTV was uncovered which proved that the male accused could not possibly have committed the offence.
Lakhani denied that the allegation was false. He was convicted after trial by jury at Kingston Crown Court in December 2019 and sentenced to three years custody in January 2020. When sentencing, Judge Jonathan Davies remarked: “this was wicked, prolonged and cruel conduct. Had Mr Lakhani’s evidence not been covered by CCTV this man would have been arrested and remanded in custody. He never did back down and this calls in to question other cases where he has given evidence.”
Senior Crown Prosecutor David Davies, on behalf of the Crown Prosecution Service, added: “the most worrying aspect of this case was that Lakhani, as a police officer, presented as a credible witness to a serious allegation where there was an identified suspect. The implications for this victim could have been profound, but we were able to prove Lakhani’s account was entirely fictional and unfounded. I hope this prosecution serves as a reminder that nobody is above the law.”
Lakhani will serve half of his sentence in custody and half on licence. His future with the Metropolitan Police is yet to be decided.
Blog by Sophie Cohen, Criminal Defence Solicitor