A Slough resident has been jailed after falsely accusing another man of sexual assault - leading to an innocent man spending a night in jail.

Ranjit Singh, 42, of no fixed abode, was jailed for two years today (February 28).

A trial held earlier this month at Reading Crown Court heard that Singh - formerly known as Ranjit Dhaliwal - called 999 on the evening of February 2, 2021.

The call was described by Judge Sarah Campbell as "very difficult" to understand, not least because Singh had been drinking heavily.

However, he told the operator that he had been sexually assaulted by a man he was with at the time. Singh led his victim to Slough Police Station, where he was arrested.

The man subsequently spent the night in a cell, while Singh gave a statement to police. Judge Campbell said an officer spent two hours trying to make sense of Singh's complaint.

He alleged that he had been attacked in an alleyway near the Slough Jobcentre - but changed the details of the allegation multiple times.

The judge told Singh: "Initially, you were saying you had been raped by him [the other man]. Then you said he'd put his hands down your trousers and touched your penis."

The man was released on police bail, and was soon cleared when CCTV evidence revealed he had not been anywhere near the Jobcentre at the time Singh claimed.

Singh then changed his story again, stating that the same man had actually abused him on a separate occasion one year prior.

Police realised the complaint was false, and Singh was charged with perverting the course of justice.

Dominic Benthall, defending Singh, said his client's behaviour was apparently spur-of-the-moment. He said: "This was not a planned complaint, nor was this sophisticated.

"Your Honour will recall that, in drink, Mr Singh made this complaint. He then went to the police station and made his statement."

Prosecuting barrister Ryan Brennan read a statement from Singh's victim. In it, the man highlighted the impact of the false allegation on his life.

He said: "It was a horrible experience that exacerbated my mental health issues, which I have been suffering from for many years.

"No-one wants to be accused of such a thing. The fact that he [Singh] has said such a thing has caused me no end of anxiety."

The court heard that Singh has form for making false and malicious allegations.

Around the same time as the February 2 complaint, he claimed on various occasions to have been held at gunpoint and knifepoint by his neighbours at a hostel.

These neighbours were also arrested - only for Singh to retract his statements when later questioned by the police.

The defendant is already in jail for an unrelated criminal damage offence.

For making the false allegation, Judge Campbell sentenced him to two further years behind bars.