Police officer jailed for lying about Uxbridge child sex assault
A police constable who falsely accused a council street cleaner of sexually assaulting a child after an argument about cleaning up his garden hedges has been jailed for three years.
PC Hitesh Lakhani, 42, called the police stating he had witnessed a man beckon a child of around five years old into some bushes while her mother walked ahead on a residential street in Uxbridge on 5 September, 2018. He claimed to have seen the man pull his shorts down and place the little girl’s hand on him, before her mother noticed she was missing and called out to her, allowing her to escape.
Lakhani said he confronted the offender and took a photograph of him. He presented the photo to police when they arrived to take a statement from him. The image was circulated across Hillingdon police’s social media feeds in order to identify the culprit of the alleged assault. It called on the public to contact Crimestoppers if they recognised the man.
Upon further investigation by the police, CCTV evidence from a neighbouring house proved the sexual assault could not have happened.
Today, (Friday, 10 January 2020) Lakhani was sentenced for perverting the course of justice at Kingston Crown Court to three years' imprisonment. He had been found guilty of the charge following a trial at the same court, which concluded in December 2019.
David Davies, from the CPS, said: “This was a baseless accusation against a hard-working man by a serving police officer.
“Hitesh Lakhani called 101 alleging he had witnessed a sexual assault that he knew did not happen. This was a spiteful act over a disagreement about hedge trimmings in his front garden spilling on to the street.
“A police investigation found no trace of sexual crimes being reported in the vicinity, various inaccuracies in Lakhani’s account and CCTV evidence from a neighbouring house, which proved the sexual assault could not have happened.
“The most worrying aspect of this case was that Lakhani, as a police officer, presented as a credible witness to a serious allegation where there was an identified suspect. The implications for this victim could have been profound, but we were able to prove Lakhani’s account was entirely fictional and unfounded.
“I hope this prosecution serves as a reminder that nobody is above the law.”
Notes to editors
- Hitesh Lakhani (DOB: 10/09/1977) is from Southall in the London borough of Ealing
- David Davies is a Senior Crown Prosecutor within the Complex Casework unit in CPS London South.