Excerpt from the Guardian 12 April 2012.
A mother of four has been jailed for six months for falsely reporting her daughter had been abducted from her backyard.
The bogus account of how her two-year-old child was snatched from her home in Blackpool, Lancashire, led to a 13-day police manhunt and the arrest of two innocent men.
Janine Wiles, 24, wailed as she was led from the dock at Preston Crown Court after Judge Pamela Badley said it was her public duty to jail her.
The defendant gave police an emotive account of how she saw the “offender” walk off with her daughter in his arms before she intervened and grabbed her back.
The subsequent investigation involving 50 officers cost in excess of £50,000 and included an identity parade in which Wiles made a false identification, the court heard.
It led to “public disquiet” in the neighbourhood as, unknown to Wiles, another abduction had been reported just streets away at around the same time last June.
Sentencing, the judge told Wiles: “You made a wholly false complaint to the police which was persistent, having made three statements in a graphic and moving account which caused an intensive police inquiry – leading to the arrest of two wholly innocent men.
“The effect of your actions, first of all, was public disquiet in a community… that causes concern to every parent, every school, every responsible adult.”
Wiles pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to intending to pervert the course of justice.
The defendant, who is expecting her fifth child in September, was told she would serve half her sentence and it was “highly likely” she would give birth after she was freed …