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Husband, 44, caught trying to take the blame for uninsured wife’s, 22, car crash when lipstick was found on the airbag

A HUSBAND who claimed he was driving when his car crashed into a house has been jailed – after his wife's lipstick was found on the airbag.

Sarah Smith, 22, had no licence or insurance when she lost control of the VW Golf and slammed into the property causing £40,000 worth of damage.

Husband Mark, 44, rushed to the scene and when cops arrived he told them he had been driving in a bid to prevent his wife, who has never passed a driving test, being arrested.

But officers decided the story had no foundation when they found traces of her lipstick on the driver's seat airbag.

The couple, of Sowerby, North Yorks, insisted he was driving her back from a hospital appointment as she was seven months' pregnant, but a jury at Teeside crown court convicted them of defrauding the insurance company and perverting the course of justice.

Mark was jailed for seven months and his wife was given a seven-month prison sentence suspended for a year as she is pregnant with their second child.

The crash happened in January last year when Sarah lost control as she drove through Thirsk, North Yorkshire.

She careered onto the pavement and slammed into the house with the black Golf being left embedded in the side of the property.

The homeowner was in the kitchen at the back of the house at the time and was not hurt.

Sarah needed medical treatment for an arm injury but told cops she was in the passenger seat and Mark was driving. Nearly £29,000 worth of damage was caused to the house and £11,000 to the car.

Her barrister Andreas O'Shead suggested the make-up got on the airbag when she moved across the car and said they would not have had time to think up a plan before police arrived.

But the couple, who were badly hurt in 2014 when a van ploughed into a horse and trap they were leading in a road, were convicted after a nine-day trial.

David Martin-Sperry, for Mark, who sold car engines before the 2014 crash, tried to have sentencing postponed to challenge the lipstick evidence further.

He said of the case: "There is no element of wickedness as there so often is in cases of this nature. It is not a case of people trying to enrich themselves."

But Judge Sherwin rejected his request and told Mark: "When this initially started, it was an ill-judged attempt to assist your wife." The couple plan to appeal.

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