Teen fined for inventing crime to cover-up canal fall

The teenager following the failed canal jump. Photo: West Midlands Police

A teenager sparked a police investigation after claiming to have been stabbed by a gang when in fact he had been injured in a failed attempt to jump a Dudley canal.

The 19-year-old was so embarrassed about what had happened that he made up the story and called police in order to avoid telling his family the truth about his failed stunt.

The teenager was fined £80 for wasting police time and West Midlands Police have released a video of the failed canal jump in a bid to deter others from falsely reporting crime.

Detectives launched an investigation on May 17 after the ‘victim’ called to say he had been approached by three men in hooded tops on a canal towpath in Coseley, Dudley.

He told officers they had stabbed him in the chin with a 10in knife and had thrown him into the canal before running away.

It was thought the attackers could have been distant relatives, who had allegedly sent threatening text messages to the 19-year-old’s 25-year-old step-father.

As part of the investigation, police carried out a high-tech forensic examination on the teenager's step-father’s phone and they were shocked by what they found.

We found a video on the phone which showed our supposed ‘victim’ attempting to jump across the canal.

As he leaps into the air, he misjudges the width of the water and falls short of the towpath, instead crashing down into the water, hitting his chin on concrete.

That’s when we knew he’d actually made the whole thing up and that even his step-father was in on the conspiracy. Both were arrested for perverting the course of justice and immediately admitted that it was all fabrication.

They were both fined but they were lucky, because wasting police time carries a maximum sentence of six months imprisonment.

– Detective Sergeant Jim Munro, of West Midlands Police