A WOMAN who claimed a taxi driver had tried to rape her in a bid to avoid paying the fare has been jailed for 12 months.

A WOMAN who claimed a taxi driver had tried to rape her in a bid to avoid paying the fare has been jailed for 12 months.

A police investigation costing £4,000 was launched when Gemma Hasson, 25, made the claims after getting a taxi home from a night out in St Ives on March 27 last year.

She did not have enough money to pay the fare and was taken to several cash points by the driver, but could not withdraw any cash because of problems with her account.

The driver dropped her outside a house in The Green, Wood Walton, where she claimed to live. She agreed to meet the driver at the address the following day to pay the fare, but he caught her hiding in the front garden and challenged her.

Hasson phoned a friend who contacted her father who went to the scene. She told him the driver had attacked her by ripping off her leggings and knickers.

The man was arrested on suspicion of attempted rape and spent 17 hours in custody.

However, neighbours had heard the argument and confirmed Hasson’s clothing had been intact at the time.

She also claimed to have paid the driver £40, but none of the cash in the car was found to have her fingerprints on.

Hasson pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice and was jailed for 12 months at Peterborough Crown Court on Friday (March 4).

Detective Constable Martin Brocklebank said: “Hasson’s claims led to a lengthy inquiry which cost the force about £4,000.

“She had numerous opportunities to tell the truth but refused and continued with the allegation which nearly cost an innocent man his livelihood.

“This type of false allegation undermines the true victims of such crime and this should serve as a warning that we will prosecute people who make malicious claims.”