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Kidnap hoax woman gets first mobile ASBO

No pay-as-you-go phone for five years

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A law student has been handed a five-year anti-social behaviour order (ASBO) banning her from using pay-as-you-go mobiles after calling and texting a former schoolfriend's mother claiming her daughter had been kidnapped, the BBC reports. Angela Sarna, 21, also earned herself a two-year jail sentence after the judge at Leicester Crown Court told her: "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."

The scam unfolded after Sapna Kattri left her parents' home following "family difficulties" on 28 April. On 1 June, Sarna called the missing girl's mother - Meena Kumani - several times, asking to speak to her daughter. Later on the same day, Sarna called again, this time pretending to be Kattri. She then sent a text message claiming that Kattri's boyfriend had kidnapped her and forced her to become a prostitute.

On 4 June the police contacted Sarna, who continued to pretend to be the missing woman. She was arrested the next day at home in Dudley and initially insisted that her former boyfriend had forced her to make the calls. He was questioned for nine hours but later released without charge. Sarna finally cracked after eight interviews and admitted her guilt.

In court, Sarna's barrister said she felt "genuine remorse". The terms of the ASBO mean that Sarna can neither use a mobile phone that is not registered in her name nor use any mobile to make nuisance calls. ®

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