A postmaster who falsely reported a robbery in which he claimed a cable tie was wrapped round his neck and money stolen from his safe has been jailed.

Jitendra Karia, 49, was sentenced at Preston Crown Court on Wednesday (August 25) after admitting to committing an act with the intent to pervert the course of justice by making a false complaint of robbery.

Police had been called around 5.40am on September 18, 2019, after a robbery was reported at Clifton Post Office in Preston Old Road, Clifton.

The postmaster, Karia, reported being robbed by two unknown offenders who had assaulted him and tied a cable tie to his neck restricting his breathing.

He also told police that money had been stolen from the safe and the internal CCTV system was missing.

Detectives launched an investigation and from CCTV and other enquiries it was established that it would have been impossible for the postmaster to have been robbed in the circumstances he claimed.

CCTV was seized from a neighbouring property and showed no-one, apart from Karia, entering or exiting the property on the morning of the reported offence.

Karia, of Stanagate, Clifton, was arrested and later given summons to appear at court.

He pleaded guilty and was jailed for 15 months.

Det Con Angela Scanlon, of Blackpool CID, said: “For reasons only known by Karia he concocted a story claiming he had been robbed by two men.

“This initially appeared to be a very serious offence and led to a substantial police response as officers worked hard to find the offenders responsible.

“Significant resources were diverted to help the investigation but following a review of CCTV, Karia’s story was quickly found to be untrue and his lies exposed.

“It was pure fantasy and I am pleased he finally admitted his guilt at court.

“It goes without saying, Karia, as postmaster, held a trusted position within the community which he has breached.

"The false report he made will undoubtedly have caused unnecessary worry and uncertainty within the local community.”