Yesterday, Greater Manchester Police issued an image of a man on a bike who had reportedly attempted to sexually assault a 13-year-old girl who was walking with her 12-year-old friend along a dirt track leading from Lilford Park towards Green Lane in Leigh around 6.30pm on Saturday.
However, following calls from members of the public and an interview with the man in question – who presented himself at a police station in an attempt to clear his name - the girls admitted they had lied about the attack.
The man has now been cleared on any wrong-doing and Greater Manchester Police would like to ask members of the public to stop circulating the image on social media.
The girls have been spoken to in front of their parents and all parties have agreed to restorative justice as the best outcome, with the girls writing letters of apology to the man they had wrongly accused.
Detective Constable Brian Johnston said: “First and foremost, I would like to send my sincerest thanks to the members of public who came forward and helped with our investigation.
“Your assistance has resulted in an innocent man clearing his name, and wrongs being righted.
“Quite what inspired the girls to lie about such a serious and terrible crime, I cannot say.
“But they have been spoken to in the strongest possible terms and are under no illusions as to the severity of what they have done and how damaging false allegations can be.
“Thankfully, their parents and the man in question were fully supportive of restorative justice and the girls will now have the chance to apologise fully for the terrible accusations they fabricated against this poor man.”