A WOMAN has been jailed after her lies led to an innocent man spending five months in prison.

Hayley Carter, 23, gave a statement to police after they had carried out a drugs raid at an address in Crawley.

Officers arrested a man and charged him with possessing a stolen shotgun and with handling stolen property.

Later they detained a second man on suspicion of the same offences and he was placed on police bail.

Carter, of Turners Hill Road, Crawley Down, became aware of the second arrest and made a statement to police which further incriminated the man, who was subsequently charged.

As a direct result of Carter's statement the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decided to drop the case against the first man.

At the trial of the second man in February 2015, Carter failed to appear as a witness.

The defence produced video evidence shot by a friend on a mobile phone in the toilets of a Crawley nightclub on the preceding New Years Eve in which Carter clearly admits that the man is innocent.

The trial was stopped.

No further action is being taken against either man.

Officers arrested 23-year-old Carter and charged her with perverting the course of justice.

She was handed an 18 month community order at Hove Crown Court in October.

However the CPS appealed against the sentence being unduly lenient at the Court of Appeal on December 1.

Carter, a telephonist, has now been jailed for 12 months.

Detective sergeant Jon Robeson, of Sussex Police, said: "Carter's action caused a man to be in prison for five months awaiting trial, and also had the effect of causing the original case against the first man to be called into question so that it had to be withdrawn.

"The sentence sends the message that attempts to pervert the course of justice are taken very seriously and that people who make false statements to the police, and to the courts, must expect to face justice themselves."