A Swadlincote woman who was spared jail after giving her armed robber ex-boyfriend a false alibi is today starting an 18-month jail term after her original sentence was found to be far too soft.

Lisa Sudale cried and hugged her daughter as she was told by judges sitting at the Court of Appeal, in London, that she will have to go to prison for her deception.

The 35-year-old spiritual healer told police she was with Birmingham gangster Junior Laing when he was in fact holding up a Warwickshire jewellers with a shotgun in 2014.

Lisa Sudale

She turned up at court "ready, willing and able" to give evidence that they had shared a bath in her home at the time of the robbery.

Sudale, of Hartshill Road, even continued with her lies after Laing was convicted and jailed - claiming he was the victim of a miscarriage of justice.

She later claimed her memory was poor at the time, and that she had not intentionally deceived police, but she was found guilty of perverting the course of justice at Warwick Crown Court.

In September, she was handed a two-year suspended jail sentence after Recorder Jacqueline Carey concluded there were "exceptional circumstances" in her case.

These included the long delay between her offence and her prosecution and the fact she was suffering depression at the time.

But, after her case was referred to the Appeal Court by the Attorney General, Jeremy Wright QC, Lord Justice Simon said she had to go to prison for her "persistent" efforts to undermine the justice system.

Sitting with Mr Justice Goss and Mrs Justice Walden-Smith, he added: "This was a case in which she voluntarily chose to pervert the course of justice, out of a misplaced sense of loyalty.

Swadlincote woman who gave a false alibi after her partner held up a jewellers told she could still face jail

"The strongest indication she could have given of her prospect of rehabilitation would have been a guilty plea.

"In our view, there were no exceptional circumstances.

"On the facts of this case, we consider that an immediate term of imprisonment should have been imposed and that the sentence that was passed was not only lenient, but unduly so."

In September 2014, the Gold and Silver Investments shop in Long Street, Atherstone, was held up by Laing, then 28, of Earlsbury Gardens, Perry Barr, and an accomplice.

He used the butt of the gun to hit a member of staff and stole jewellery worth £39,000 before fleeing in a getaway car.

Laing was found guilty of robbery at Birmingham Crown Court in May the following year and jailed for 16 years, with a four-year extended licence period.

In April 2015, Sudale made a statement to the police in which she said Laing was at her home in Swadlincote all day on the day of the robbery.

But investigations revealed she had phoned Laing at a time when, according to her account, they had been sharing a bath.

The Appeal Court heard that, since Laing's trial, Sudale had turned her life around, was with a new partner who was supportive and had set up a spiritual healing business.

She was ordered to hand herself in to St Mary's Wharf police station in Derby by 6pm today to start her jail term.