A “poisonous” ex-girlfriend sent herself threats from a fake Instagram account to try and get an innocent man sent to jail.
Courtney Ireland-Ainsworth, who was then 19, created up to 30 false profiles before telling police her ex-partner Louis Jolly was behind the messages.
The “cunning” teen alleged he threatened to stab her and warned: “She is getting a f***ing blade in her chest.”
Ireland-Ainsworth, now 20, had made 10 police statements accusing Lous of harassing and stalking her.
This led to him being arrested six times and spending 81 hours in custody, including being remanded overnight, LiverpoolECHO reports.
Louis was charged with assault and stalking, hit with a stalking protection order, bailed on a home curfew with an electronic tag, and even lost his job, Liverpool Crown Court heard.
Recorder Ian Harris told Ireland-Ainsworth: “You created an entirely fictional but superficially credible web of poisonous deceit for over five months.”
Louis, 22, said they were together for two years but split up on “okay terms” in October 2019.
Ireland-Ainsworth then started dating a man named Declan Rice.
The now-20-year-old, from Runcorn, then began her “deliberate and malevolent lies”, the court heard.
Paul Blasbery, prosecuting, said she made numerous calls to police from July 15 to December 13, 2020 and provided screenshots of messages and the names of Instagram accounts, which she attributed to her victim.
Louis always maintained his innocence as the court heard the defendant accused him of calling from withheld numbers, stalking her, her friends and new partner, filming her walking down the street and sending her the video, verbally and physically abusing her, making false claims she used cocaine, smashing items in her house and putting a brick through her nan’s window and threatening to stab her and her boyfriend.
Recorder Harris said: “You stated after he had been arrested the stalking became worse.
“You provided images of damage to property and you yourself, as to where you said he knifed you with a Stanley knife, and there was a scar on your chest.”
Ireland-Ainsworth’s mum rang police on November 15, saying Louis had threatened to stab her online.
Detectives had requested data from Facebook, which owns Instagram, but it had taken some time to gather.
In that time, Louis was hit with an interim stalking protection order on December 4, and bailed for six weeks with an electronically tagged home curfew, between 7pm and 7am daily.
Ireland-Ainsworth accused him of breaching the order and her mum called police in December 2020 to report this.
The data that came back showed that at least 17 Instagram accounts were created using two of Ireland-Ainsworth’s email addresses and IP addresses connected to her home and mobile phone.
She was arrested and interviewed in December 2020, when she confessed before the Crown Prosecution Service discontinued stalking and assault allegations against Louis.
Mr Blasbery said: “She attempted to minimise during that interview what she had done. She eventually admitted it.
“She stated her ex-boyfriend Mr Jolly was hassling her, but in order to make the police believe it she sent false messages to the police so that they would take it seriously.”
Ireland-Ainsworth, who had no previous convictions, admitted perverting the course of justice.
Jim Smith, defending, said his client was 19 at the time, immature and diagnosed as suffering from “complex” post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
He said: “She would have handled that breakdown [in the relationship] substantially differently than any other individual who was not subject to a mental disorder.”
Mr Smith said Ireland-Ainsworth worked at DHL Supply Chain and was a “very respected member of that team” and “loved and respected” by family and friends.
Mr Smith concluded: “The defendant and her family are truly sorry for what has occurred in this case.”
Recorder Harris said her allegations “all of them untrue” had an “absolutely shattering effect” on the victim and his family.
The judge said: “He’s become a shell of the man he used to be.”
Recorder Harris told Ireland-Ainsworth: “You in my judgement involved your boyfriend Declan Rice and your mother and grandmother in making statements to the police… you involved them in your dishonesty.”
He continued: “I find a lot of thought and planning went into this criminal enterprise, which had hallmarks of sophistication and cunning about it.
“Even after you were arrested and charged, you continued to make derogatory assertions against Mr Jolly.”
Recorder Harris reduced Ireland-Ainsworth’s sentence because of her mental health difficulties and gave her full credit for her guilty plea.
Locking her up for 10 months and making a 10-year restraining order, he added: “I extend considerable sympathy to the Jolly family for what they have had to suffer at your hands.”