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Phone-a-friend alibi fails the courtroom test

A SOUTH Grafton man has been given a nine month suspended sentence after his phone-a-friend alibi failed.

When he was interviewed by police, at his house in April, Brett Jason Donnelly was confident his friend would be able to verify where he was on the night he was accused of driving a stolen car.

The witness initially verified Donnelly was at his house in Corindi Beach and therefore could not have stolen the car, however, he withdrew his testimony after police told him he would have to make an official statement.

Meanwhile the prosecution's star witness said he saw Donnelly driving his sister's car on the corner of Bent and Cambridge streets in South Grafton.

He also said the intersection was very well lit and he had known Donnelly most of his life and gone to school with him.

When Donnelly arrived in the dock he said he could not remember where he was on the night in question, but his friend would have been able to provide an alibi, if the officer who investigated had not intimidated him by asking for a statement.

The Magistrate found Donnelly guilty.

"I don't think you could get better identification than that provided," he said.

Donnelly was found guilty of taking and driving a car without consent of the owner and given a nine-month suspended sentence contingent on good behaviour.

Topics:  court, stolen car

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