A mum who crashed her car while drink-driving then made a false report it had been stolen during a burglary has been spared jail.

Rebecca Ferris, 37, admitted charges of perverting the course of justice and fraud by false representation and was sentenced at Manchester Crown Court today.

Recorder Michael Maher handed Ferris 12 months in prison but decided to suspend the sentence 'by a hair's breadth' after hearing of the impact it would have on her teenage daughter who has learning disabilities.

The court heard the events began when Ferris crashed a VW Golf into a wall on Wellington Road in Eccles in the early hours of 15 February, 2019.

Harriet Tighe, prosecuting, said a woman working in a nearby residential care home heard the collision and rushed out to the scene believing someone may have needed medical assistance.

"She heard the Golf go past travelling well in excess of the 30mph speed limit," Miss Tighe said.

"There was a screeching of brakes and a really loud bang."

Ferris was spared an immediate prison sentence

The witness found the Golf covered in bricks and debris with the airbags activated and keys in the ignition but no one in the car, the court heard.

"A woman appeared from behind the vehicle, it was the defendant," Miss Tighe said.

"She approached [the witness] and she could smell alcohol on her breath.

"[Ferris] admitted to the witness 'It's my car I was driving, I was trying to get away from my boyfriend. I've been drinking too much, please don't tell police'."

Ferris then began to walk away in the direction of Salford Royal hospital, the court heard.

A police officer who happened to be in the area was flagged down by a member of the public.

The witness ignored Ferris' request to lie and told the police officer at the scene what had happened, the court heard.

The same day Ferris, of Kerrier Close, Eccles, contacted police to report that her home had been burgled and her partner's car had been stolen.

Ferris was sentenced at Manchester Crown Court

Officers attended and spoke to Ferris but were immediately suspicious.

"They doubted the validity of the report and advised the defendant to think long and hard before continuing the allegation," Miss Tighe said.

Ferris maintained the false report, however, and signed a witness statement as part of an insurance claim.

Her partner Wesley Haining also signed a statement, the court heard, and the insurance company paid out more than £12,000.

The VW Golf was leased by Mr Haining via the Motability scheme and his partner Ferris was a named driver on the insurance, the court heard.

"Criminal proceedings may have now been authorised [against Mr Haining] if they have not already commenced," Miss Tighe told the court.

During a police investigation lasting several months, officers obtained CCTV evidence which showed Ferris at the scene of the crash and found her DNA on the driver's airbag, the court heard.

However, it took a further two years before Ferris was charged.

Miss Tighe was unable to offer any reason for the delay in bringing proceedings.

Ferris pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and Michael Johnson, defending, said she 'bitterly regrets' her actions that night.

He said she cares for her teenage daughter who has Special Educational Needs and that she had left the house following a 'crisis'.

"The crisis that occurred on this occasion was particularly acute," Mr Johnson said.

"For reasons which the defendant bitterly regrets, she left the house, took the car and drove away."

Mr Johnson said while he accepted his client's crimes comfortably crossed the threshold for a prison sentence, he pleaded for it to be suspended, arguing that there would be no one to look after Ferris' daughter if she were to be locked up.

The court heard her father cares for a second daughter who also has learning disabilities.

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Ferris says she is no longer in a relationship with Mr Haining.

Sentencing Ferrus, Judge Maher said: "You ploughed into a wall at speed.

"Mercifully, no pedestrians or other road users were hurt otherwise you would be appearing in court for an even more serious charge.

"It follows that having left the house at 11pm you had been driving intermittently for the thick end of three hours with a significant quantity of alcohol in your system.

"I find that to be a serious aggravating factor."

Judge Maher said he believes Ferris left the house while drunk because of the 'pressures' in her home life.

However, he said police had wasted valuable time and resources investigating her false report of burglary, adding that it was 'time and money that could have been spent on genuine crimes and genuine victims.'

Imposing a 12-month prison suspended for 18 months, Judge Maher added: "It is by a hair's breadth that I am going to suspend that imprisonment.

"You owe Mr Johnson a debt of gratitude."

Ferris was also disqualified from driving for six months and must pay a victim surcharge.