A 20-year-old woman from Deal has been given a suspended prison sentence for wasting police time after making a false rape allegation.

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Rebecca Howard, of Prince of Wales Terrace, pleaded guilty at Channel Magistrates Court in Folkestone on August 18 and was sentenced last week to four months imprisonment, suspended for two years.

She was also ordered to carry out 200 hours unpaid work and pay £1,000 compensation to Kent Police. She will be the subject of a supervision order for 12 months.

Howard falsely claimed that two men had bundled her into a car before driving her to a car park in Walmer where one of the men raped her in the early hours of Sunday, February 6.

A detailed police investigation into the alleged rape proved the offence had never occurred and Howard later admitted this.

Detective Inspector Matt Banks from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate said: “We take all allegations of rape very seriously and our priority is to get justice for genuine victims of rape.

“It takes considerable bravery for a rape victim to come forward to report a crime and we will always sensitively and thoroughly investigate all reported rapes.

“Our priority is always the victim and we would always encourage anyone who is a victim of this type of crime to come forward and report it.

“Howard abused this and her allegation caused heightened concern within the Deal community and involved considerable time and resources to investigate.

“I am pleased the courts have recognised the serious impact her actions had and imposed a suitable penalty.”

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