Two teenage girls who went out on to the streets of Luton to buy cannabis ended up concocting a story that they had been the victims of a knifepoint robbery.
As a result, two other young women ended up being arrested and held in custody.
Yesterday, the teenagers, Charlotte Kerr, 18, and her friend Emma-Jane Holmes, 19, appeared at Luton Crown Court to each admit a charge of perverting the course of justice.
The court heard that in the early hours of May 2 this year Kerr, of Elmtree Avenue, Cockernhoe and Holmes, of Mulberry Close in Luton, decided to go out in the town and buy cannabis.
They found themselves in Dallow Road, Luton and approached another woman they thought would be able to supply them with the drug.
After handing her £30, she walked off and the pair found themselves with no cannabis and no money.
Robert Colover, prosecuting, said the pair then decided to ring the police to say they had been the victims of a knifepoint robbery.
Officers took the call seriously.
Statements were taken from the pair and, as a result, a woman was arrested on suspicion of robbery.
The court heard she remained in custody for nine hours.
Judge Michael Kay QC was told a second woman was picked up by police and spent five hours in custody.
But officers were beginning to get suspicious and, after questioning Holmes again, the truth came out.
Yesterday the pair stood shame-faced in the dock as the story of their callous deception was revealed.
Passing sentence, Judge Kay passed a four month detention term on each, but said he would suspend them for 12 months.
Each was ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work and pay £250 costs.
In addition they will be subject to a three-month home curfew between the hours of 7pm and 7am.
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