A woman who falsely accused a teenager of sexual assault after she felt guilty about their consensual one-night stand narrowly escaped jail today.
Sapphire Phillips, 21, reported the 17-year-old to police to get him arrested as he made her feel “used” and upset, and because she felt guilty about cheating on her partner, Lynn magistrates were told.
The court heard yesterday that Phillips had wasted police time in the past, making previous false allegations of robbery and also rape.
“It’s a strategy she uses when she can’t cope with a situation,” explained probation officer Sharon Cooper.
“She requires attention, even if it’s negative.”
Phillips, who suffers from depression and anxiety and lives in a hostel in Barons Close, Fakenham, admitted wasting police time by making the false allegation of sexual assault on July 1 last year.
Fergus Harold, prosecuting, said the teenager was arrested and was forced to undergo a forensic examination during his 20 hours in police custody.
On July 13, Phillips eventually admitted she had lied and that the encounter had been consensual.
Mr Harold said: “It is the third time she has made false allegations to the police, and it has a huge impact on the person falsely accused.”
Phillips cried in the dock as magistrates handed her a 16-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months. She was also given a probation rehabilitation programme, and ordered to pay £165 in costs.