Page last updated at 12:41 GMT, Friday, 9 May 2008 13:41 UK

Wife faked grab in attention bid

Court (generic)

A wife so desperate for her husband's attention that she faked her own kidnapping has been given a conditional discharge by a court.

Newry Crown Court heard Patricia Thompson, 44, of Blackisland Road in Loughgall, claimed she had been snatched in a 'tiger robbery'.

However, she was seen driving by herself to where she was found.

Judge Randal McKay said she had been wasting a "considerable amount of police time".

She believed her husband was having an affair and made her first false report to police in 2005 claiming she was "home alone" when a gang of four men burst in and tied her up before stealing cash.

Prosecution outlined how over the course of the next nine months she made a series of false reports to the police.

These included two reports that the brake pipes on her car had been cut, that the house was being watched and how she spray-painted graffiti on the boundary fence to the house and sent threatening letters and text messages "as a warning to Mr Thompson to discontinue the relationship".

Drove herself

However, the lawyer added that even from the first incident police were concerned about the "accuracy of her reporting", the damage caused to the home "appeared to be selective" and that the incidents only happened when she "was at home alone".

The final incident in March 2006, proved she had been the author of the threats and other incidents.

Her husband returned home to find the house unlocked, his wife's car missing and an apparent kidnap note.

Police started a 'tiger kidnapping' investigation but a few hours later Mr Thompson reported that he had found his wife at a roundabout and that she had been tied up.

She told police she had been abducted and driven from the house in her own car before the gang left her at the roundabout where she had managed to free herself and alerted passing motorists.

However, a witness saw Thompson driving her own car, alone, and also that he saw her with the car again later that evening, which was later confirmed by a surveillance video.

She pleaded guilty to nine counts of perverting the course of justice.

Defence said the case involved "unusual sadness" .

"The best the accused was hoping for in this case," he said, "was the attention of her husband and all of this behaviour was, quite clearly, a desperate appeal for help and for assistance."

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