Nilgun Canver trial: Jury warned it must be ‘absolutely sure’ Haringey councillor lied to police

17:09 29 January 2014

Cllr Nilgun Canver arrives at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court. Picture: Dieter Perry

Cllr Nilgun Canver arrives at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court. Picture: Dieter Perry

Dieter Perry

The jurors in the trial of senior Haringey councillor Nilgun Canver have been told they must be “absolutely sure” she lied to deflect police attention away from her joyriding son before they can convict her of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Cllr Canver has admitted telling PC Steve Tutton she was behind the wheel of her BMW when it crashed in Seven Sisters Road, Tottenham, last year – knowing it was her uninsured 23-year-old son, Burak, who was to blame.

She says she corrected her knee-jerk claim within 60 seconds, and had said it out of motherly instinct when being questioned at the scene that night.

Judge Robert Morrison told the jury that the nub of the case was the conversation between the councillor and the policeman.

“It is not a defence that she told the truth to the police a short time later, however quickly that might have been,” he said. “It is not a defence that she was upset at the time.”

But he said jurors had to be “sure” beyond reasonable doubt that she intended to pervert the course of justice by claiming to be the driver.

Referring to the police log of the incident, the judge identified a seven-minute window between PC Tutton noting that he was going to see the person pointed out to him as the driver – Cllr Canver – and requesting another patrol car be sent to the family home in Mattison Road, Harringay, to find her son.

“Within seven minutes PC Tutton now knew that the defendant was no longer maintaining that she was the driver,” he said.

He also said jurors must “not lose sight of” Cllr Canver’s “exemplary character”.

Referring to Tottenham MP David Lammy’s appearance in court for the defence last week, he added: “There are not many people who would have their MP come along to give a statement as to their character and is prepared to back it up if it came to pass. And it was a glowing reference.”

He said it was now for jurors to decide on the intent behind her lie to the police officer, and whether she was co-operative when questioned or if the truth had to be “dragged out of her” by the PC.

The councillor denies claims by both the victim and his brother that before police arrived, she told them she had been driving and that she offered to pay them off to avoid getting police involved.

She also denies being unco-operative with PC Tutton, deliberately giving vague answers about whether her son was insured on her car, whether she gave him permission to drive it that night, and his whereabouts after the accident.

The jury has retired to deliberate on its verdict.

Latest News Stories

The Dorchester Hotel in London was just one of several five-star hotels targeted by the pair

A Hampstead pensioner who went on a drink-fuelled spree of unpaid fine dining in some of London’s most luxurious hotels was only caught because he left his spectacles behind, a court heard.

The LA Fitness gym in Highgate Road, Kentish Town

A petition has been launched to save a Kentish Town swimming pool threatened with closure because a gym is changing hands.

Charlie and Lola author Lauren Child visits Highgate Pre-Preparatory School. Picture: Nigel Sutton

The author of popular children’s book series Charlie and Lola signed books and gave an assembly for young pupils.

The suspected brothel is in Lyme Street

Three women have been arrested at a suspected brothel in Camden Town following complaints from residents.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot


You won't need to fork out for groceries for a while!

Asda, one of the country’s leading supermarkets, prides itself in being one of the cheapest places to shop, so you can be sure that your money will go a long way here!

Shop till you drop!

Here’s your chance to treat yourself to a new wardrobe and a whole lot more with this MyOffers competition to win an incredible £2,500 to spend at Primark on whatever you like!

Digital Edition

Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder