Prosecution for Man who Claimed his Mobile Phone was Stolen in Violent Robbery
Published on: 20th Jan 2012
Note -- this news article is more than a year old.
Police in London, UK have prosecuted a local man after he made a false claim that his mobile phone had been stolen.
Pedro Barreto, 49 was ordered to pay £1000 compensation to the Metropolitan Police after pleading guilty to wasting police time. He was also given a 6 month curfew between 8 pm and 6 am and was electronically tagged for 16 weeks.
Barreto claimed that last November he was robbed by three men as he drove to work that morning. He told officers that his car was overheating so he stopped to get water out of the boot at which point three men approached him from behind and robbed him. Barreto claimed that he was unable to breathe for a few moments as one of the suspects covered his mouth and nose with their hand before searching through his pockets and stealing his phone.
Officers from Harrow's Robbery Squad investigating the matter tried to pinpoint the exact location of the robbery which Barreto said had happened near his home address, however he was unable to clarify this even though officers tried to assist him with maps and diagrams. He was told that due to the seriousness of the allegation a scene visit was necessary so that police could ascertain a possible crime scene and make immediate local enquiries and identify any CCTV opportunities.
At this point Barreto's demeanour changed, he became very quiet and then admitted to police that he was lying and had made the whole story up in order to get a crime reference number as he had lost his phone.
Due to the seriousness of the allegation and the amount of police time and resources wasted, Barreto was arrested and charged with wasting police time.
Detective Richard Metcalfe in charge of Harrow's Robbery Squad said: "Yet again we have an allegation of robbery which was completely falsified by the alleged victim so he could get a crime reference number to make an insurance claim for a phone which in fact, had been lost."