A YOUNG mum who tried to give a false alibi for the partner who had just assaulted his supposed love rival has avoided jail.

Marnie Lee told detectives that her boyfriend, Michael Crossley, was at home with her at the time of the assault in late December 2017.

But CCTV later uncovered by police showed Mr Crossley storming from the house they shared, getting into a Range Rover and driving away as 31-year-old Lee appeared to throw something at him.

Mr Crossley, enraged after learning of text messages between his partner and another man, went to the latter’s home and attacked him.

Lee, who appeared before Swindon Crown Court this week to be sentence for perverting the course of justice, was interviewed by police and stuck to her story that Mr Crossley was at home.

Prosecuting, Colin Meeke said: “The police during the course of the investigation spoke to her, took her statement and asked about CCTV at her home address which they believed was there. Having by that stage made the false statement she then continued to be obstructive.”

She tried to stop them from looking through the CCTV. She told them it had not been recording in real time and that it was linked to her partner’s phone and there was no screen to watch it on.

Lee was arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice. Mr Meeke said: “Through that interview she continued to deny that her statement was false.

“She was shown the CCTV footage and she accepted that the woman running out of the house was her but she would not confirm that the man was in fact Mr Crossley.

“She said it didn’t look like him. She talked about differences in the hair.”

Lee, of Deneb Drive, Oakhurst, pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice.

Emma Handslip, defending, said her client had been “on the edge” when she had made the statement. She had been suffering from post-natal depression in late 2017 and was also battling an addiction to strong painkillers.

Lee was remorseful, had entered early guilty pleas and had stayed out of trouble in the two years since the offence was committed.

Ms Handslip said her client’s young son, a baby at the time of the offence, would suffer if his mother was sent to prison.

Judge Jason Taylor QC sentenced Lee to six months imprisonment suspended for two years.

He said: “On December 29, 2017, you were asked the whereabouts of your boyfriend by the police who were investigating a serious allegation of assault.

“You said he was with you. That was plainly a lie because a few months later he pleaded guilty.”

Perverting the course of justice was an offence that almost inevitably led to an immediate prison sentence: “This type of behaviour strikes at the very heart of the criminal justice system and can result in serious offenders walking free.

“As it transpired this did not happen here. Moreover, the finger of blame was not pointed at anyone else.”

She must complete 250 hours of unpaid work, complete up to 20 rehabilitation days and pay £600 costs.