A woman wasted police resources when she sent officers on a wild goose chase by falsely claiming there had been a robbery.
Cheryl Lawrence lied about a woman snatching another woman’s purse near Preston’s main bus station.
Bizarrely, she gave emergency services operators a description of herself as the culprit.
In a call to police she said the villianess had red hair and even described the colour of the socks she was wearing.
Police soon tracked Lawrence down after she had given them her own description and initially arrested her for robbery.
Lawrence, 38, of Warbreck Drive, North Shore, pleaded guilty to making a malicious phone call and obstructing police.
She was sentenced to eight weeks’ jail suspended for 12 months, put on six months’ supervision and ordered to pay £80 victims’ surcharge by District Judge David Scanlon sitting at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court.
The judge told her: “The police should not have their time wasted on a complete wild goose chase.
“People are vulnerable if they cannot get hold of a police officer in a genuine emergency because of you.”
Lawrence had a previous conviction for wasting police time.
Michael Woosnam, defending, said his client had significant mental health problems.