A married mum-of-four who wrecked the lives of two soldiers after she falsely claimed they raped her has walked free from court.
Teresa Aldridge, 41, had consensual sex with one of the men at a party then drunkenly claiming she had been raped by him and another man.
Up to 20 police officers investigated the allegations and within 24 hours had arrested two squaddies, a court heard.
The innocent men were “degraded” as police took blood, pubic hair and DNA samples for a crime they had not committed, it was said.
One of the soldiers was branded a paedophile and a rapist when he returned to his barracks.
The other was forced to quit the army and move away from the area after his fiancee and children left him.
But the day after the fabricated sex attack, sober Alridge went to police and admitted she had made up the report.
She was charged with wasting police time and admitted the crime at Canterbury Magistrates Court on Wednesday.
Aldridge was told she had come close to going to prison but was sentenced to 120 days jail suspended for two years.
The court heard Aldridge told police she had been at a party on March 24, 2012 where she had been drinking vodka, the court heard.
At the time she claimed she was taken into a room at the house party in Canterbury, Kent, where she said two men had raped her.
The soldiers, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were booked into custody by sergeants, interviewed by detectives and examined by forensic officers.
But just hours later Aldridge confessed to police telling them she had lied and had in fact consented to having sex with one of the squaddies.
Prosecutor Rachael Laughland told the court: “A member of the public contacted police to say he had come across a woman who said she had been raped by two men she described as squaddies.
“Eight officers went to the barracks where they arrested two men. Twenty-four hours of police resources were wasted.
“But not before the defendant returned to the police station and made admissions that she had lied and that the sex was consensual.”
In a victim impact statement read out in court, one of the soldier’s said: “I was placed in a cell with a glass door and had a police officer watching me.
“Four blood samples were taken from me, my trousers were pulled down and pubic hair clipped and swabs were taken from my penis area.
“I felt disgusted and degraded – I started crying and asked for a solicitor. I have lost everything. My fiancee and children have left me and I now lead the life of a single man.”
Alridge, of Canterbury, Kent. was also sentenced to supervision and ordered her to pay £85 costs.
Aldridge’s solicitor Ian Bond portrayed his client as a vulnerable and troubled woman at Canterbury Magistrates Court last Friday.
Ian Bond said: “She takes full responsibility for this offence, fully understands the seriousness of it and is remorseful.
“She understands how her behaviour has impacted on her victims and is sickened.
“She did snuff out the allegations the next day when she went to the police to say that she had done something terrible.”
Mr Bond described the rape claims as an “isolated incident” and “not part of any pattern of behaviour”
He told magistrates that Aldridge, who has one previous conviction for being drunk and disorderly, was not a regular drinker and had drunk too much at the party on the night she made the claims.
Mr Bond added: “She had consensual sex with a man she had never met before, there was then a dispute which led to her being shoved out of the front door.
“She was feeling pretty wretched at this point, having just had sex with a stranger and being kicked out.
“She was sitting on a wall when a passer-by came past and she blurted out that she had been raped. It led to two men going through an unpleasant ordeal.
“But she did have the courage to go to the police and say ‘stop, this is wrong’ and understands the pain, suffering and indignity these men suffered.”