Almost 90 police officers were part of an investigation into claims an Oldbury woman was being stalked on Facebook, before the case was exposed as a hoax, it has emerged.
Officers were bombarded with emails and calls from Alexandra O’Sullivan.
The 23-year-old told police she had received bomb threats and suspicious packages, was being constantly watched and was even threatened with a gun.
A total of 87 officers were assigned to the case before the web of deceit was unravelled when a man was arrested.
While the suspect was held in custody, O’Sullivan continued to claim her tormentor was still threatening her. She has now been ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid work after being sentenced at Wolverhampton Crown Court.
Between December 2011 and January 2012, O’Sullivan reported 23 separate cases of “harassment” by a man who she claimed was stalking her on Facebook.
A month after making the original false reports, she was arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice. Her phone was seized for forensic analysis by computer experts who discovered she had been posting the threats herself.
O’Sullivan, of Broadmoor Avenue, pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice and was sentenced on September 20 to 100 hundred hours of unpaid community service. She was also given a 12-month community order and a nine-month supervision order.
Sgt Leighton Shingles, from Sandwell Investigation Team, said: “When interviewed she admitted the offences, saying she’d only made the reports in an effort to seek attention. The cost of this investigation would have been in the thousands and any hoax call has the potential for massive disruption to the local community and businesses.”
By Lisa Wright