Teenager made up kidnapping claim

Preston Crown Court

Preston Crown Court

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A TEENAGER claimed he had been attacked, threatened, kidnapped and set on fire – because he wanted to do something stupid before joining the Army.

Kirk Sainsbury’s lies to the police led to two innocent people being arrested and kept in custody for several hours.

Preston Crown Court heard after finally admitting making it all up, Sainsbury told officers he had done it because he wanted to do something crazy before living to Army rules and regulations.

The 18-year-old of Wensley Avenue, Fleetwood, admitted a charge of perverting the course of justice and was sentenced to eight months youth custody.

Police launched an investigation last August after Sainsbury claimed he had been attacked in an alley off Holmestead Drive by four men with a baseball bat. He also claimed to have received threatening text messages.

Charles Brown, prosecuting, said he spoke of having also later been assaulted while walking home, causing a significant wound.

The matter was taken seriously by police and an investigation was launched.

An innocent 18-year-old youth went on to be arrested on suspicion of wounding with intent.

He spent just four hours in police custody before being released on bail.

The defendant made further claims. He alleged two strangers assaulted him outside his home.

He even went on to claim he had been kidnapped by five or six men who had dragged him on to the King George’s playing fields, at Fleetwood, tied him up with duct tape, poured petrol on his clothes and set him on fire.

He even gave a detective a bag of burnt clothes.

When police checked the playing fields, tape, a plastic lighter and can of lighter fluid were found.

The court heard how police installed a panic alarm at the address where Sainsbury was then staying.

“There were stop checks of young males in the area, between the aged of 13 and 22, in an attempt to identify any potential suspects”, added Mr Brown.

Another innocent teenager, a 17-year-old girl went on to be arrested on suspicion of wounding.

She was arrested on September 7 at Blackpool Sixth Form College and kept in custody for five hours before she too was released on police bail.

Sainsbury himself ended up arrested on September 12.

It was then he admitted having made it up and had never been assaulted, kidnapped, set on fire or sent threatening text messages.

Mr Brown added “His explanation as to why he had done it was to the effect that he was intending to join the Army and wanted to do something stupid before he had to abide by the rules and regulations of Army life”.

Defence barrister Roger Baldwin said: “It started off as a lie and then became lots of lies, bigger lies.

“He just could not see his way out, except by lying in a bigger and better way on each occasion.

“It’s really tragic this young man, with no previous convictions, should wriggle in the quicksand of his own dishonesty, to the extent that he is now up in it up to his neck”.

Judge Stuart Baker told Sainsbury: “Why you or why indeed anyone would set about giving false information to the police that you would know would get two completely innocent people into a great deal of trouble, is beyond belief.

“This was prolonged, clearly deliberate conduct. It was done thoroughly mischievously by you in order to get whatever pleasure you could get from doing something stupid before joining the Army.”