Dad punished for lying about son dying

Pauline Vaux could not believe the lie Murray told about little Peter
Pauline Vaux could not believe the lie Murray told about little Peter

A dirty rotten liar told a sheriff his son had died of an asthma attack so he could escape a jail sentence.

Grant Murray appeared at Falkirk Sheriff Court on Thursday, March 17, last year because he had previously not been doing the unpaid work associated with the community payback order he received last year.

He pled guilty to being concerned in the supply of the class B drug at his then home, 35 Thirlestane, Bo’ness, from April 1 to June 12, 2015.

During his court appearance on March 17, his solicitor Simon Hutchison told Sheriff Craig Caldwell Murray’s “six-year-old son” suffered a severe asthma attack and had died a few weeks earlier and that was the reason he had not been keeping up with his order.

Sheriff Caldwell said he understood the “predicament” Murray found himself in and continued his case for six weeks to allow him to make progress on his 125 hours of unpaid work.

However, when Murray’s former partner Pauline Vaux read the article in The Falkirk Herald’s sister paper The Bo’ness Journal she was forced to tell their son Peter, who was then five-years-old, what his dad had done.

She said: “I just burst into tears, I read the paper – I don’t think I actually believed it until I read it. I was angry and just felt sick. I knew Grant had told lies about other people, but I never thought he would say this about his son, who actually has asthma.

“I told Peter his dad told lies to get himself out of trouble. He looked at me and said ‘it’s okay I have another dad now so I don’t have to say he is my dad any more’.” Pauline said she and Murray split up when she was pregnant and he had not had much contact with Peter since.

She contacted the sheriff clerks office and this resulted in Murray being charged with trying to pervert the course of justice.

Appearing at Falkirk Sheriff Court today, Murray, who now lives in Crianlarich, was told he was lucky he was not going to jail and that his lies had struck right at the “heart of the criminal justice system”.

He admitted the offence when the case last called on March 6.

Defence solicitor Murray Aitken said: “He takes full responsibility for what was put forward that day a year ago. He is not in a position offer a competent or adequate explanation other than fear for what the consequences were going to be for him.

“Whatever came over him, he wasn’t thinking clearly about what the consequences for others would be and the system of justice as a whole.”

The court heard Murray had completed his community payback order and had now managed to get a job after moving out of the area.

Sheriff Craig Caldwell said: “You tried to pervert the course of justice by lying to this court. The content of the lie was that your young son had died and that was utterly untrue.

“Why you would use that as an excuse is beyond my comprehension. This is a significant and serious offence. People rely on being given the correct information and we cannot function otherwise.

“This offence strikes at the heart of the criminal justice system.”

Murray was placed on a community payback order with the condition he complete 160 hours of unpaid work within four months. A review was called for on May 18 and Murray was warned if he failed to comply with the order he would be going to prison.