Luton mum spared jail after helping criminal son impersonate brother in front of police
The mother of one of Azaan Kaleem's murderers was today given a suspended sentence after helping him to impersonate his brother during an earlier incident.
The incident related to an allegation of drug-dealing, five months before Kaleem's death in March 2018.
At 11.25am on October 6, 2017, police arrived at the home of 19-year-old Rashaan Ellis in Derwent Road looking to arrest him on suspicion of drug dealing.
Ellis answered the door but lied to police, pretending that he was his brother and insisting that 'Rashaan' was out of the house.
His mother Melissa Ellis, 40, joined in on the act and claimed that Rashaan was his brother.
Police did not believe the pair and after carrying out a finger print test, Rashaan was arrested.
Melissa Ellis pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice at Luton Crown Court in April this year, but her sentence was deferred for three months to allow her to attend a drug rehabilitation programme elsewhere in the UK.
Today in court, the probation service stated that Ellis had made "outstanding progress" in the programme and had been drug-free for the past three months.
Her mentor at the treatment centre also appeared in court and said that Ellis was fully engaged in the course, and was actively helping other women break free from drugs.
Judge Steven Evans said: "You sought to protect your son, but the fact police didn't believe what you said meant there were no consequences of you perverting the course of justice.
"It was clearly a hopeless attempt."
Referring to her drug rehabilitation, the judge said: "I'm very pleased that you've made the progress that you've made, it's a rare occurrence.
"We know in court that it's difficult to overcome entrenched addictions like drug addiction... in your case you have arrived at that place."
The judge thanked the treatment centre for its on-going work with Ellis and said there were not enough spaces nationally for such programmes.
Ellis was given a four month sentence suspended for 12 months.