A TEENAGER who falsely accused a taxi driver of raping her broke down in tears as she was jailed for 12 months.

Bolton Magistrates’ Court heard 133 hours of police time were wasted investigating the alleged crime.

The 17-year-old girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, confessed she made it up three days later.

But by that time 35-year-old taxi driver Shahnawaz Khan, who has never been in trouble with the police, had been arrested in front of his colleagues, had intimate samples taken and was kept in police custody for 12 hours.

Married father-of-four Mr Khan picked up the girl from the S and D taxi rank in Farnworth. He took her to her home and when she admitted having no cash he agreed to keep her ring at the taxi base until it was paid.

She then told her mother she had been raped and the police were called.

Radha Vaithianathar, prosecuting, said: “She was distressed and told an officer ‘I could not stop him. He was too strong and I could not get him off me. He put his hand over my mouth so I could not scream.’”

The court heard she was taken to hospital and appointments were made for her at St Mary’s sexual assault referral centre but she refused to co-operate.

Miss Vaithianathar told the court it had a huge impact on Mr Khan. In a statement she read out, he said: “I did not go to work for a number of weeks. I was embarrassed in front of my family and friends. Going to the police station was a horrific experience.

I want the person responsible to be punished.”

She added the Court of Appeal said a custodial sentence is inevitable for this type of offence.

“False allegations damage genuine rape cases and it is a terrifying experience for the victim. This drives another nail into the conviction rate,”

she said.

The court heard the girl had drunk several litres of cider and had taken cocaine that day. James Towey, defending, said: “She is disgusted by her actions and used the word evil.”

Magistrates refused an application by The Bolton News for reporting restrictions to be lifted to allow the girl to be named. She was given a 12-month detention and training order after pleading guilty to perverting the course of justice.