Linlithgow mum and son jailed after car park collision

Livingston Sheriff Court and Civic Centre.
Livingston Sheriff Court and Civic Centre.
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A mother and son who created a “concoction of lies” about a minor bump in a supermarket car park were both starting a prison sentence last Friday.

Linlithgow lollipop lady Katherine Whalen (58) and her son Thomas (24) went to extraordinary lengths to prevent police finding out he was driving at the time.

The pair even took photographs of their 4.0 litre Jeep Cherokee with the driver’s window in various positions in a desperate bid to prove the driver’s face could not be seen from a distance.

The mum insisted she’d been driving in Tesco’s car park in Bathgate on October 8, 2013. But witnesses said that her son, an uninsured learner driver, was at the wheel.

Both were found guilty after trial of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Katherine Whalen was also found guilty of causing or permitting her son to drive without L-plates or insurance. And her son was convicted of driving while uninsured on a provisional licence without displaying L-plates.

Sheriff Martin Edington was scathing about their attempts to conceal the truth.

He reminded them that the owner of the other car had offered to let them pay for the damage they’d caused but they later reneged on the deal.

He said they had gone to considerable lengths to “create a concoction of lies” and maintained their innocence despite “compelling evidence”.

He told them: “That means you expressed no guilt, remorse or regret.

“I’ve come to the conclusion that only a custodial sentence is appropriate to punish you and to deter other people from acting as you have done.”

He sentenced each to 120 days in prison and banned them from driving for six months. He also fined them £1250 each with no time to pay and imposed the alternative of 28 days in custody.

Katherine Whalen is appealing her sentence.