Girls’ lies saw victim locked up for a day

Ashleigh Luby and Jessica Heap appeared at Burnley Crown Court for perverting the course of justice.

Ashleigh Luby and Jessica Heap appeared at Burnley Crown Court for perverting the course of justice.

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Two teenagers’ lies about a child being assaulted at a fast food restaurant saw an innocent man locked up for 23 hours.

Ashleigh Luby, 19, told police she and a young child had been attacked by a man at KFC in Blackpool on November 1, as the man knocked her off balance and pushed her into a bin.

She said the child had hit his head and been kicked in the leg and her friend, Jessica Heap, 18, had witnessed the ordeal.

The man – a stranger to the girls – was in police custody for 23 hours while police studied CCTV footage, which cleared him of any wrongdoing.

Judge Andrew Woolman said: “For some reason that nobody really has got to the bottom of you invented a stupid lie about him. That caused him to be arrested and locked up, wholly wrongly.”

Luby, of Maycroft Avenue, Poulton, and Heap, of Bowness Avenue, Thornton, both admitted attempting to pervert the course of justice and were each given two months in detention, suspended for 12 months, at Burnley Crown Court. They must do 120 hours unpaid work.

Speaking after the hearing, PC Ross Williams said: “We made the complaint against them for perverting the course of justice. A lot of police time was spent investigating the offence, they both seemed very genuine girls.”

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