A BLACKPOOL mum has been warned she could face jail after she admitted making up a false story about a child’s abduction.
A massive police manhunt was launched after Janine Wiles told police a two-year-old girl had been snatched from the back yard of a house on Erdington Road, central Blackpool, last year.
The 24-year-old, of Kent Road, Blackpool, looked teary as she stood in the dock at Preston Crown Court and admitted perverting the course of justice yesterday.
Judge Norman Wright told Wiles, who also goes by the surname Gibson, “all sentencing options will be open”.
Wiles was charged with the one offence between June 30 and July 12 last year.
The court heard she gave a false account to police on three separate occasions how someone had tried to abduct a toddler.
Wiles said a child snatcher had jumped over a six foot wall into a back yard, used a knife to slash at a trampoline and grabbed the toddler.
Police flooded the area around Erdington Road with officers last summer and arrested two men over allegations they had grabbed the youngster.
The claims led residents to believe a child snatcher was on the run, prompting many to stop their children from playing outside.
Police also sent out reassurance teams to offer advice to residents.
But 12 days after the allegations were made, detectives called off the investigation when they found no evidence of a crime having been committed.
Det Chief Insp Andrea Barrow, who led the investigation, said: “I’m appalled we had parents in Blackpool concerned there was a man at large who tried to abduct a child when in fact that was simply not true.”
When the inquiry was called off, Wiles told The Gazette the matter had “been blown out of proportion”
She said: “I’m not a liar, I don’t go out to seek attention – it was just a misunderstanding.”
Wiles’ defence barrister, Virginia Hayton, told the court her client was a woman of previous good character but said she suffered from depression.
She added: “It’s a very unusual offence. The defendant does suffer from depression. She has had help by way of anti-depressants from a doctor.
“We are seeking a psychiatric report, we have a psychiatrist lined up.”
Wiles will be sentenced at Preston Crown Court on March 20.
Bail was granted on condition she does not contact two witnesses in the case.