Former Otago police officer Neil Ford has been jailed for two years and four months for lying in his evidence about a road accident five years ago.

Ford, 56, was convicted after his jury trial for perjury last month.

In a defended hearing in Alexandra in February 2006, he claimed a crash on Earnscleugh Rd between his ute and another vehicle six months earlier was caused by the 17-year-old driver of the other vehicle.

In reality Ford caused the collision when making a u-turn from the left side of the road.

He said in a statement and in the court case that he had been making an indicated right turn from near the centre of the road when Shane CRibb's car t-boned his ute.

As a result of Ford's false evidence, Mr Cribb was convicted of careless driving causing injury.

Sentencing Ford in the Dunedin District Court today, Judge Paul Kellar said he took into account Ford's previous good character, the humiliation and loss of standing from his conviction and his offer of $10,000 reparation to Mr Cribb.

He also acknowledged Ford's physical and mental health problems and the fact that prison would involve greater hardship for a former police officer than for others.

But he said the offence had been an abuse of Ford's position as a serving police officer with 27 years' experience.

Ford's evidence had been premeditated and he had relied on the fact what he said was more likely to be accepted than the evidence of an inexperienced teenager.

The courts were entitled to expect the highest level of integrity from the police who had significant powers, the judge said.

As a result of Ford's perjured evidence, an innocent person had been convicted.

He ordered payment of the $10,000 reparation offered by Ford to Mr Cribb.

- OTAGO DAILY TIMES