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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 November, 2004, 17:00 GMT
Fake kidnapper banned from phones
A law student who faked a former school friend's kidnapping has been jailed for two years and banned from using pay-as-you-go mobile phones for five years.

Angela Sarna, of Delph Road, Brierley Hill, West Mids, sent text messages and made calls during the scam.

Sarna told Meena Kumari her daughter Sapna Kattri had been abducted, locked up and forced into prostitution, Leicester Crown Court heard.

Sarna, 21, had pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice.

I find this a very worrying and disturbing case
Judge Simon Hammond

A police investigation, across Leicestershire and the West Midlands - taking up 640 hours of police officers' time - tracked De Montfort University student Sarna to her family home.

Judge Simon Hammond jailed Sarna and imposed a five-year anti-social behaviour order (Asbo), banning her from using a mobile phone that is not in her name, or using a mobile to make nuisance calls.

The court heard Miss Kattri - who went to the same school as Sarna - had left her parents' home on 28 April following some "family difficulties".

Mark Hard, prosecuting, said Mrs Kumari had been extremely upset her daughter had left home.

Boyfriend arrested

In the early hours of 1 June, she received a number of calls from the defendant asking to speak to Miss Kattri.

Later that day, the defendant called her again, but this time claiming she was Mrs Kumari's daughter, before sending text messages and making further calls.

Sarna then sent a text message saying Miss Kattri had been kidnapped by her boyfriend, from the Melton Road area of Leicester.

On 4 June, police made contact with the defendant, and Sarna kept up the pretence she was Miss Kattri, before officers tracked her down the following day.

'Deliberate hoax'

At first, Miss Sarna claimed she had been coerced into making the calls by a former boyfriend, who was arrested and held for nine hours before being released without charge.

After eight police interviews, Sarna admitted making the calls.

In mitigation, James Thomas, defending, said Sarna was "genuinely remorseful" and appalled by her actions.

Judge Hammond, sentencing, said: "I find this a very worrying and disturbing case. This was not just a one-off act of stupidity, this was a prolonged and deliberate hoax that lasted five days.

"I have no other hesitation in saying this must qualify for a custodial sentence."

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