A teenager who claimed she was attacked by a stranger in Accrington in the early hours of the morning has admitted to police that she made the whole incident up.
Police issued an appeal for witnesses to come forward after the 17-year-old girl alleged she was grabbed from behind by a man as she walked home from the town centre on Saturday August 21.
She claimed the man made threats towards her but that she ran off when a car drove past and disturbed him.
Following an investigation, the alleged victim has admitted that she had fabricated the attack and has been issued with a fixed penalty notice for wasting police time.
The officer who led the investigation, Detective Inspector Claire Holbrook said: "Allegations of this nature are always treated seriously and investigated fully.
"Sadly there is a very small minority of people that make false allegations, which cause unnecessary fear amongst local people and can channel resources away from genuine victims."