Indian-origin policeman jailed for bringing false sex assault case
An Indian-origin police constable in the UK has been sentenced to three years' imprisonment for falsely accusing a man of sexually assaulting a five-year-old girl.
London : An Indian-origin police constable in the UK has been sentenced to three years' imprisonment for falsely accusing a man of sexually assaulting a five-year-old girl.
Hitesh Lakhani, a Metropolitan Police officer, accused a street cleaner employed by the local authority in west London of the child sex assault after an argument over cleaning up his garden hedges.
The 42-year-old off-duty cop called the police in September 2018 to say he had seen a man beckon a child of around five years old into some bushes while her mother walked ahead on a residential street in Uxbridge area of suburban London.
He was sentenced for perverting the course of justice at Kingston Crown Court on Friday after a trial at the same court which concluded last month to find the allegation was untrue.
"I hope this prosecution serves as a reminder that nobody is above the law," said David Davies, a Senior Crown Prosecutor with the UK's Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
"The most worrying aspect of this case was that Lakhani, as a police officer, presented as a credible witness to a serious allegation where there was an identified suspect.
The implications for this victim could have been profound, but we were able to prove Lakhani's account was entirely fictional and unfounded," he said.
Lakhani had claimed to have seen the accused man pull his shorts down and place the little girl's hand on him, before her mother noticed she was missing and called out to her, allowing her to escape.
Lakhani said he confronted the offender and took a photograph of him. He presented the photo to police when they arrived to take a statement from him.
The image was circulated across the local police's social media feeds in order to identify the culprit of the alleged assault. It called on the public to contact Crimestoppers if they recognised the man.