A JOGGER who claimed she was sexually assaulted at knifepoint has told police it did not happen.
The 33-year-old woman claimed she had been running along the promenade at Seaburn seafront on Friday evening when she heard calls for help.
She told police she ran to the aid of the person and was attacked at knifepoint.
The woman said after the attack, she made her way back up to Whitburn Bents Road where she was able to call police for help.
Police were told the incident happened at about 6.45pm last Friday, February 11.
Two sections of grass, paths and steps leading down to the beach were cordoned off between South Bents Road and Bransdale Avenue.
A major investigation was launched, with specially-trained officers recruited to help the victim and officers remaining on the scene into the weekend.
At the time, people who lived in the area said they had heard the commotion caused by police investigating the alleged attack – and were shocked when they heard an incident of that nature had taken place.
Majer Jurek, 69, who lives in Whitburn Bents Road, said: “I saw the police cars along the road.
“There were about four or five of them and a police van, which drove off and then an ambulance arrived, stayed for a minute and then drove off.”
He added that a police car then parked in the area and stayed overnight.
And a 61-year-old man, who did not want to be named said: “It’s shocking that whatever happened, happened here.
“This is normally a good, quiet area – somewhere people feel safe. I know people who live along here and they are quite scared.”
Police, though, now say the are no longer investigating the assault as the woman has retracted her allegation – stating it did not happen.
Investigating officers are now deciding whether or not to prosecute the woman.
A Northumbria Police spokeswoman said: “Northumbria Police are considering the needs of the woman in this allegation.
“No decision has been made on whether further action will be taken.”