Aerobics teacher 'invented abduction'

JOANNA Grenside, the aerobics teacher who vanished for 36 hours and claimed she had been adbucted, invented the allegation, police said yesterday. She may now be prosecuted for wasting police time.

Detectives refused to say what had happened to Miss Grenside, 25, but confirmed they were not looking for anyone in connection with the incident.

Detective Superintendent Ian Whinnett, of Hertfordshire police, said he was satisfied he was not looking for anyone in relation to any offences committed against Joanna.

He said it was 'very likely' a file would be submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions when his inquiries were complete.

Miss Grenside had no motive for inventing the abduction story and was not with someone or somewhere she should not have been, police said. 'We can only assume it was her mental state at the time. We have found no motive behind her story.'

Suggestions last night included the theory she suffers from the eating disorder bulimia nervosa and could not face festive eating and drinking. Police last night asked commuters at Harpenden railway station if they had seen her taking a train to London on the night she vanished.

Det Supt Whinnett said: 'As far as we can see there was nothing malicious behind this and it is all very unfortunate. Joanna is still very distraught and is being looked after by her parents.'

The family were not answering calls at their home in Harpenden, Hertfordshire, yesterday.

Miss Grenside was reported missing last Tuesday after she failed to turn up for an aerobics class at 7pm at Harpers Leisure Centre, in Harpenden.

Later her rape alarm was found near her locked car, left in the centre's car park.

She reappeared, distressed, two days later, saying she had been abducted by two men. She claimed she had been blindfolded and held for two days in an isolated house. Her disappearance led to a massive search.

Specially trained officers were unable to question her in detail about the story because she was said to be too distraught to talk, but officers interviewed her at length yesterday when she admitted the story was a fabrication.

Det Supt Whinnett said that she gave police few details about her abduction and said she had not taken off her blindfold, even though she was left alone for up to 12 hours, as she was too frightened.

Police maintained throughout they were 'keeping an open mind' about the case.

At the weekend they said they were investigating similarities with a faked abduction in Australia.

In that case Fairlie Arrow, 27, a singer, went missing for two days and was found tied up in a road in Queensland.

She claimed she had been abducted by a fan, blindfolded and bound to a four-poster bed, but two weeks later admitted making up the story to boost her flagging career.

The incident happened exactly a year ago and police discovered Miss Grenside was in Australia at the time.

(Photograph omitted)

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
News
Lizards, such as Iguanas (pictured), have a unique pattern of tissue growth
science
Extras
indybest
News
Anna Nicole Smith died of an accidental overdose in 2007
people
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
'The Great British Bake Off' showcases food at its most sumptuous
tvReview: Bread-making skills of the Bake Off hopefuls put to the test
Extras
indybest
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Digital Project Manager/BA

£300 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: An experienced Digital/Ecommerc...

Creative Content Executive (writer, social media, website)

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum + 25 days holiday and bonus: Clearwater People Solut...

SEN Teacher

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Supply special educational ne...

Regional ESF Contract Manager

£32500 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Birmingham: European Social Fund...

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home