A TEENAGER who made a false claim of sexual assault in York city-centre has been fined £90.

The 19-year-old had claimed she was assaulted in Friargate in August, leading to a police appeal and investigation, but she was found to have made up the story.

She has been issued with a fixed penalty notice and fined for wasting police time, but detectives have said the case should not put off victims who are seeking help.

Detective Chief Inspector Matt Walker of North Yorkshire Police said the incident should not put anyone off coming forward.

He said: "We take all allegations of sexual assault extremely seriously and allocate the appropriate resources to deal with them. The vast majority of reports are genuine and it’s important that victims know that we will do our utmost to bring the perpetrators to justice.

"When dealing with an incident which has proven not to have taken place, we take into account the circumstances which led to the person making a false report. Each case is different and each person has varying needs.

"It is not always appropriate to put that person through the criminal justice system. Every effort is made to ensure the person gets the relevant support and assistance they need if that is the most appropriate course of action."

There are ways to report sexual assault without involving police, including Bridge House, the Sexual Assault Referral Centre for York and North Yorkshire. To contact Bridge House, phone 01904 669339 or visit turntobridgehouse.org