A MAN who slashed his own face in the name of love has been given a community order.
Liam John Paul Noble cut himself with a broken bottle, in a desperate bid to help salvage his relationship.
The 20-year-old, from Marley Pots, claimed he had been attacked with a knife by a gang of men who jumped him in a Sunderland street.
He hoped that seeing his “significant” injuries – which needed stitches at hospital and left scarring – would gain sympathy from his girlfriend.
But the effects of the Christmas Day ruse snowballed, as she urged him to call the police.
Twenty man hours, four constables, a sergeant and inspector were involved and a forensic examination of the “crime scene” was carried out.
Realising the situation had spiralled out of control, Noble admitted to Wearside detectives that it had been a lie.
He pleaded guilty to wasting police time when he appeared before Sunderland magistrates.
Prosecutor Lee Poppett said Noble had rang police at about 2.20am “to say he had been assaulted by two unknown males in the Hylton Castle area”.
He made a five-page statement to officers, which included claiming the men got out of a dark-coloured car and that one attacked him with a bladed instrument, cutting his month and nose.
Noble also said the men warned him to keep away from his girlfriend, or “it will be worse next time”.
The wrapping fell away from his festive fib when a detective called for more information.
Mr Poppett said: “In the course of that interview Mr Noble admitted very quickly that he had made it all up.
“He had slashed his face with a bottle, in the hope it would perhaps make his girlfriend feel sorry for him and allow them to reconcile.”
In mitigation, Joanne Gatens said it was Noble’s girlfriend who insisted the police were called.
“That was never his intention,” she added.
“He is very sorry for what he did, and wishes it had never happened.”
Magistrates gave Noble a 12-month community order, to include probation service supervision, anger management and alcohol awareness sessions.
He was also told to pay £85 towards court costs.