A veterinarian who convinced a teenager to lie to police about stolen equestrian equipment to protect her sister has been jailed for three years.
Anita Tasovac, 39, was convicted by a jury of attempting to pervert the course of justice over two years by having a 14-year-old girl claim she had stolen equestrian equipment from the Harmony Park Horse Show in 2008 to cover up for her sister, Nikole Tasovac.
The District Court heard today that Nikole had been convicted of stealing the equipment and received a spent conviction, but was appealing.
In 2010, Tasovac spoke with a colleague, who she had previously helped financially, and asked whether her daughter would tell police she had stolen equipment.
The girl was given some items and was told to say she had found the equipment in the carpark and hid them under her bed.
Tasovac then lied to her lawyer and police by saying she did not know the mother and daughter.
It was not until 2012 that the mother and daughter admitted to lying and Tasovac's plan unravelled.
In sentencing, Judge Mark Herron said the deception lasted two years and diverted police resources.
"The offence was premeditated, and not a spur-of-the-moment response, requiring some degree of planning," he said.
The judge noted Tasovac, who specialises in treating horses and has no criminal record, had a lifelong interest in horses.
Judge Herron said Tasovac's actions were designed to deliberately mislead and interfere with the administration of justice.
"Your actions are in the upper range of offending by an attempt to pervert the course of justice," he said.
"I'm satisfied you pursued the course you did fully aware of the seriousness of your offending."
Tasovac will be eligible for parole.
The mother of the teen previously pleaded guilty of conspiracy to defeat the course of justice and received an 18-month prison term, suspended for 18 months.