Police sex attack inquiry

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ALLOTMENTS were sealed off during a major police inquiry after a teenager claimed she had been the victim of a serious sex attack

The top of Thornhill Gardens, in Hartlepool, was taped off all day yesterday and guarded by police officers as detectives investigated the claims.

But the girl later retracted her statement and admitted she had made up the serious allegations.

She has been spoken to by police, but is not expected to face any further action.

The girl said she had been approached on the 600ft-stretch of path that runs between the allotments and Grayfields Recreational Ground, and comes out at Wiltshire Way.

Police launched a search for a small black car and appealed to the public for help.

They also scoured local security camera footage and spoke to nearby residents.

But the investigation was called off yesterday afternoon after the girl retracted her statement and admitted the allegation was false.

A Cleveland Police spokesman said: “Officers can now confirm that the teenage girl has retracted her statement and admitted it was a false allegation.

“The girl involved has been spoken to by officers.”

Some allotment holders were unable to get into their plots while scenes of crimes officers investigated the claims.

They told the Mail that, despite their frustrations, they understood why the area was closed and were happy to wait.