'Cry rape' woman Chairmaine Ripley given suspended sentence for wasting police time after 'attack' at Hartsdown Park
A woman who sparked a major police alert after lying about a 'rape' in a park has been handed a suspended sentence.
Dozens of police were called in after the serious allegation on June 8 this year.
Around 30 officers helped carry out house-to-house investigations, with the "crime scene" cordoned off and forensics officers brought in.
Hartsdown Park in Margate
But, as fears grew that a rapist was on the loose in Margate, 'victim' Charmaine Ripley admitted she'd made up the claim.
Now the 26-year-old, of Leslie Avenue, Margate, has admitted wasting police time and was sentenced today at Margate Magistrates Court.
Ripley was handed a 120-day prison sentence, suspended for a year, and ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work. She will also come under a supervision order.
It comes after a full-scale police investigation was launched when Ripley claimed she was raped in Hartsdown Park in Margate in the early hours of June 8.
She told police a man had attacked her as she walked home from a nightclub.
Specially trained officers were brought in to investigate, with a fingertip search conducted of the area, and hours of police time taken up.
Police officer at the scene of a crime. Library image. Picture: Kent Police
But, as police looked further into the alleged attack, inconsistencies in her account began to appear.
Then, when challenged, Ripley admitted she hadn't been raped at all.
On August 13 she was charged with wasting police time and later admitted the offence before magistrates.
Detective Inspector Gavin Moss, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: "Ripley wasted hundreds of hours of police time by falsely claiming she had been raped.
"Police conducted house-to-house investigations, speaking with residents who were clearly alarmed and worried about an attack which, as it transpired, had never occurred.
"Every time a false allegation is made, it takes away from the genuine victims who need our help" - Det Insp Gavin Moss
"In addition to this specially trained officers and forensic teams worked at the scene.
"They are a valuable and much-needed resource which could have been used helping genuine victims of crime.
"We take all reports of rape extremely seriously; it is a crime which often has a devastating impact on the victim.
"We use every available resource to us to both support the victim and see justice is served. Every time a false allegation is made, it takes away from the genuine victims who need our help."
The case was adjourned until today for pre-sentence reports.
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