An piano teacher from England, Tracy Frankcom, stabbed herself with a knife, wrote poison pen letters then claimed she was the victim of a stalker.
These incidents triggered a police manhunt which resulted in an innocent man being arrested.
Frankcom, 41, mutilated her own hands with a kitchen knife and slapped herself in the face – then wrongly alleged her injuries were caused by a sinister assailant who attacked her three times in 12 weeks at her music shop and farmhouse home.
She also sent herself poison pen text messages and abusive Christmas cards saying: ”It’s your last bitch” and ”You’re dead bitch” and helped officers compile e-fit of the fictitious assailant.
Frankcom’s husband Martin, also a musician, was so worried about the terror campaign he went on the internet and bought his wife a stab proof vest and a stun gun for protection.
Police staged a major operation to track down the stalker gave Frankcom police protection when she left work, referred their inquiries onto murder squad detectives and scrambled the force helicopter to search for suspects.
They eventually arrested an innocent man, held him for 18 hours and forced him to take part in an ID parade before releasing him without charge.
Officers eventually became suspicious of Frankcom’s account when inquiries drew a blank.
She later confessed she had made it up – claiming she was “in a dark place” following a minor bust up with a customer at her sheet music store in Darwen, Lancs.
She claimed she was due to carry out a fourth and fatal attack upon herself. The self mutilations damaged her tendons in her left thumb and may affect her piano playing for the rest of her life. The total bill for the police operation was £10,000.
At Preston Crown Court, Frankcom who also teaches violin and guitar and plays keyboards in a Jean Michel Jarre tribute band broke down and wept as she admitted three charges of perverting the course of justice.
She was ordered to pay police £5,000 compensation for the wasted manhours and will have to pay £1,500 prosecution costs.
She was further ordered to complete a three year community order in which she will seek help for her problems.
Judge Andrew Woolman told Frankcom: “You are an educated woman, hardworking and a talented music teacher. There’s no explanation why a woman of 41 years old should embark on such a series of lies and exaggerations with serious consequences to you and everyone else. It is a bizarre case, one of the most bizarre cases I’ve come across as a judge, and it does not fall into the normal categories.”
“Usually the case is that is made against a named individual to false rape or the like and if a person lies like this they go to prison. But I think there is some deep seated problem in your character that caused you to behave like this. No good would come of imprisoning you and it might well be enough to stop you again given people will now know the lengths you went to.”