'Rape victim' Charmaine Ripley admits she lied about alleged attack in Hartsdown Park, Margate
A woman who sparked a major police alert after claiming she was subjected to a vicious rape has admitted making it up.
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 after appearing at Margate Magistrates Court.
The full-scale police investigation was launched after Ripley claimed she was raped in Hartsdown Park in Margate in the early hours of June 8.
Ripley 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.
But, as police looked further into the alleged attack, inconsistencies in her account began to appear.
Police officer at scene of crime with tape. Picture: Kent Police
Then, when challenged, Ripley admitted she hadn't been raped at all.
On August 13 she was charged with wasting police time and she yesterday 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 next Monday for pre-sentence reports.
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