Search

Haringey councillor trial: Nilgun Canver burst into tears after lying to police

PUBLISHED: 15:03 22 January 2014 | UPDATED: 20:13 22 January 2014

On trial: Cllr Nilgun Canver

On trial: Cllr Nilgun Canver

Archant

A senior councillor burst into tears after admitting she had lied to protect her son “like any mother would”, a court heard.

"I don’t know what she would have said. I believe she might have been trying to tip him off, tell him that we might be trying to come to the house. I was quite frustrated that she was obstructing our investigation."

PC Steve Tutton

Cllr Nilgun Canver, a former Labour cabinet member for Haringey Council, broke down after an officer asked her several times whether she was behind the wheel of her silver BMW when it hit Stavros Oikonomou and careered into a lamppost late at night in Seven Sisters Road, Tottenham, on January 24 last year.

After initially telling PC Steve Tutton that she was driving with her son Burak in the passenger seat, Cllr Canver admitted she had not been there.

In fact Burak had been driving. He has since been prosecuted for aggravated vehicle taking and driving without insurance.

On the second day of her trial for attempting to pervert the course of justice at Wood Green Crown Court, PC Tutton gave his version of events.

The first of two officers to arrive at the scene at 1.05am, he said he first checked the BMW and saw the driver’s seat was pushed “right back” before being directed to Cllr Canver.

“The first thing I asked her was, was she the driver of the BMW,” said PC Tutton. “She said yes. She said she was diabetic and had had a funny turn or something. I asked her if she was in the car alone. She told me her son was with her, and he had gone home because he didn’t feel very well.”

A paramedic had told PC Tutton that Mr Oikonomou claimed the driver was a man, aged 25 to 30, who had already left the scene, and provided a description.

PC Tutton continued: “I thought, there is a little bit of doubt here. There could be an explanation, she could have pushed the seat out in order to get out of the vehicle. I said to her, ‘Are you telling me the truth about who was driving? Other people have said they saw a man.’ She just looked at me blankly, just stared at me without giving me an answer.”

He said he asked her several times, adding: “She started to cry and said, ‘I am just trying to protect my son like any mother would.’”

Cllr Canver told the PC her son may have left because he was “intoxicated”, but didn’t answer when asked where he was. She picked up her mobile phone and said she was going to call him, but the PC grabbed it from her.

“I don’t know what she would have said,” said PC Tutton. “I believe she might have been trying to tip him off, tell him that we might be trying to come to the house. I was quite frustrated that she was obstructing our investigation.”

Cllr Canver’s counsel later suggested she was being co-operative and “helpful” by trying to call her son, and made the point that she must also have provided his name and address to officers who were sent to arrest him.

PC Tutton added: “She kept mentioning that she worked with us all the time and I said, what do you mean by that? And she said she was a local councillor.”

He sought advice from two superior officers before cautioning her at the scene, warning her that offences may have been committed and asking her to make a statement. Cllr Canver said: “Is it necessary? What happens if I don’t?” She then asked if it was “really in the public interest”.

Cllr Canver was allowed to leave the scene, but was called back at around 3am to give a statement once officers realised Burak was not insured to drive the car - meaning that either he had committed an offence by taking the BMW without consent, or she had by letting him drive it.

She made a statement that she could not recall giving her son permission to drive her car.

Cllr Canver denies a single count of attempting to pervert the course of justice. The trial continues.

Related articles

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Fri, 15:21

A devoted remain MP was quizzed this week by a young Brexiteer during a politics summer school.

Fri, 14:15

In this week’s Ham&High we spoke to Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels actor Vas Blackwood told us about his life, loves and respect for former Labour leader Michael Foot.

Fri, 10:52

Plans to part-privatise council homes and business in a multimillion-pound deal were reapproved within 40 minutes last night amid cries of “shame” from the public.

Thu, 18:22

A serial-fraudster will spend four years behind bars following a scam in which he posed as a jet-setting businessman dealing in fine wine and champagne.

Thu, 17:35

Chalk Farm tube station will be closed this weekend as work begins on replacing the station’s two lifts.

Thu, 17:06

We spoke to Vicky Bingham about why she loves being headteacher of South Hampstead High School.

Thu, 16:34

Bet your bottom dollar on this home in Stoke Newington, now the bookies’ favourite to win RIBA’s prestigious Stirling Prize.

Thu, 15:45

A plan meant to safeguard the future of a 115-year-old library through its relocation has been condemned as “tragic”.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Navigating divorce or separation when there are children involved can be emotionally difficult and confusing for everyone involved. Here, Jessica Palmer of Streathers Solicitors in Hampstead, offers answers to commonly asked questions

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now