A Cilgerran man who lied to the police to provide a friend with a false alibi was told today he had narrowly escaped an immediate prison sentence.

Stephen John Tring, aged 42, of 3 Ger y Llan, admitted attempting to pervert the course of justice by making a statement that Aled Davies had stayed at his address on November 17 and had not left until the following morning.

Robin Rouch, prosecuting, told Swansea crown court that during those hours Mr Davies’ car ran off the road near the village of Rhydlewis, a few miles north.

A passing motorist stopped to help but Mr Davies was soon nowhere to be scene.

The following day, said Mr Rouch, Mr Davies reported his car as stolen and told police he had spent the previous night at Tring’s home.

Tring then made a statement supporting his friend’s story.

But, said Mr Rouch, Mr Davies blood was found on a front seat of the car and the motorist who had stopped to help was able to pick him out of an identity parade.

Tring then made a further statement that he had been drinking at the time and thought Mr Davies had been with him.

Tring’s barrister, Carina Hughes, said he had acted foolishly out of misplaced loyalty.

“He appreciates the affect that this has on the justice system,” she added.

The court heard that Mr Davies had been arrested and would appear in court at a later date.

Judge Keith Thomas said if the plan had succeeded Tring may have helped his friend to avoid the consequences of his driving and, possibly, to defraud an insurance company.

Tring was jailed for 13 months, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work for the community.

He was also ordered to pay a government surcharge of £100.