A CITY man could be deported after lying to police about two petrol thefts to protect an alleged illegal immigrant.
Regise Dube, 28, of Hodge Lea, was jailed for two months when he appeared at Aylesbury Crown Court on Friday.
He had deliberately giving police the wrong name of a man to be arrested, to protect a friend who had committed the crimes.
Dube, who has just appealed against a Border Agency decision to deport him, knew the innocent man, named in court only as Mr Maduma, was in South Africa so thought police would not pursue the case.
However, when Mr Maduma returned to the UK he was arrested and had his fingerprints and DNA taken by Greater Manchester Police.
It was only then that Dube told police he had lied to them and admitted perverting the course of justice.
He then gave them the name of the real offender Bhekimpilo Ngwenya.
Prosecutor Nigel Ogborne told the hearing: “CCTV captured a black Fiat Punto in four offences of entering a petrol station, filling up and making off without paying.
“Mr Dube has been dealt with for two of the offences – on November 29 and December 13 last year and driving without insurance – in the magistrates court by way of compensation and fines.
“But he denied he was responsible for the similiar acts committed on December 8, last year, and January 5, 2012.
“He said these offences were committed by a friend of his – Mr Maduma.
“He thought he was living in South Africa and police would not pursue the case with no further action.”
Andrew Dickens, defending, said: “He (Dube) named Mr Ngwenya – allegedly an illegal immigrant – as the real person in this matter. He said he didn’t want him to be arrested, charged, convicted or deported.
“He also didn’t want his (Ngwenya’s) family taking revenge upon him.”
Unemployed Dube, receives £40 pounds-a-week in benefits and is not able to work in Britain under the conditions of his visa.
He has lived in Britain for the last six years with his girlfriend and her two young children.
She is supporting him on her single wage as a school receptionist.
It was her Punto car which was used in the four offences, Mr Dickens said.
Judge Jeremy Donne told Dube it was a “foolish thing to do.”
He said: “The petrol thefts were not in themselves a grave offence, but what was far more serious was you trying to hoodwink the police.”