A COUPLE split up after they lied to police about who had been driving a car during a road rage incident, Southampton Crown Court heard.

John Evans, who suffered a fractured arm and bruising in the fracas in Wilton Road, said his girlfriend Danielle King had been at the wheel but she contradicted it.

However, two days later she made a further statement to the police, claiming that she had panicked at the scene and had been driving.

A year later, the pair attended court to testify in a trial over the road rage incident but she told the prosecution and the officer in the case she would not give evidence.

“The officer asked her whether she had lied in her statement and why she was reluctant to give evidence,” said prosecutor Carolyn Branford-Wood. “She acted as though offended and denied she had been lying.”

However, she then approached witness support and broke down, and admitted she had lied, explaining that she had been asked to by Evans.

Ms Brandford-Wood then referred to a text message sent by Evans on the evening before the trial which read something to the effect of: “Stick to the story and nobody will know.”

Evans later admitted he had encouraged her to lie.

King, 25, of Tedder Way, Southampton, and Evans, 22, of Elmer Close, North Baddesley, appeared for sentencing after admitting attempting to pervert the course of justice.

They each received a six-month suspended sentence with an £80 surcharge.

Evans was told to do 150 hours community work, and Knight was given 80 hours.

The court heard Evans had lied to avoid prosecution for driving without insurance or a full licence.