Courtney Ireland-Ainsworth made fake Instagram accounts in a bid to frame her ex-boyfriend as a stalker.
Her accusations meant that her innocent ex spent 81 hours in police custody, reports say.
Ireland-Ainsworth was given ten months in prison and a ten-year restraining order.
A 20-year-old British woman is behind bars after she set up more than 20 fake Instagram accounts in a bid to frame her ex-boyfriend as a violent stalker, according to reports.
Courtney Ireland-Ainsworth of Cheshire, England, created as many as 30 fake Instagram profiles between July and December 2020, per The Sun.
The newspaper reported that she used the accounts to send "vile" messages to herself after she split with her former partner Louis Jolly, with whom she had been in a relationship for two years, and claimed that he ran the accounts.
Ireland-Ainsworth made ten police statements about her former partner during this time, including a report that he sent a message threatening to stab her in the chest, The Sunday Times reported. She involved family and friends in this particular lie, the newspaper said, asking her mother to call the police and report the fake threatening message.
Ireland-Ainsworth also claimed that Jolly videoed her walking on the street, harassed her friends, smashed items in her house, and threw a brick through her grandmother's window, Liverpool crown court heard, per The Times.
Jolly was arrested six times because of these false accusations, the newspaper reported, which resulted in him spending 81 hours in custody.
He also lost his job following assault and stalking charges, was placed on a home curfew for 12 hours a day, had to wear an electronic ankle tag, and had a stalking protection order against him, according to the local media outlet Liverpool Echo.
Jolly told the Echo that the ordeal had a profound impact on his mental health. He said he suffered panic attacks, became suicidal, and needed antidepressants.
Court Recorder Ian Harris said that all her allegations had been "untrue" and had an "absolutely shattering effect" on the victim and his family.
Jolly maintained his innocence throughout, per The Times, and was eventually absolved of guilt when detectives unraveled her web of lies.
Detectives requested user data from Meta, which owns Instagram. It revealed at least 17 accounts were created using Ireland-Ainsworth's email addresses linked to IP addresses connected to her home phone and cellphone.
Ireland-Ainsworth was arrested in December 2020 and confessed to perverting the court of justice.
"She stated her ex-boyfriend Mr. Jolly was hassling her, but to make the police believe it, she sent false messages to the police so that they would take it seriously," said prosecutor Paul Blasbery, per The Times.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) dropped the charges against Jolly.
On Monday, Ireland-Ainsworth was sentenced to ten months in prison and a ten-year restraining order.
According to The Times, she was given a reduced sentence because of her mental health struggles. Her lawyer Jim Smith said his client was immature and diagnosed with "complex" post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)," according to the Echo.
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