A pensioner has been branded a "wicked old man" after his false assault allegation left a young angler in the cells.
Albert Bryan, 82, gave police a fake account of the incident outside his home in Teignmouth which led to the completely innocent man being arrested and held for five hours.
When police went to check CCTV footage from the flat where he lived the pensioner feigned senility and said he could not remember the security code number needed to play back the images.
Bryan left his home in Ivy Lane, Teignmouth, to confront two men who had parked their VW car in a private space while they nipped into a tackle shop next door to buy bait.
Police uncovered the truth after finding a way to watch the CCTV and seeing that Bryan attacked victim Calem Hughes, and not the other way round.
Bryan, of Ivy Lane, Teignmouth, admitted assault by beating and perverting the course of justice and was conditionally discharged for two years and ordered to pay £100 compensation and £600 costs by Judge Francis Gilbert, QC at Exeter Crown Court.
The judge told him: ”You are 82 and have no previous convictions but you are a wicked old man who lied to the police in order to get a young man into trouble.
“This man had parked his car in a private area and gone into a nearby shop. You rang 999 and made a false allegation which led to the driver being arrested and held for five hours.
“He explained to police he had been the one assaulted by you and asked the police to view the CCTV, which showed that you attacked him.”
Gareth Evans, prosecuting, said the case arose from an incident in July, which started when Bryan was sat at his home watching images from a CCTV camera.
Mr Evans said: ”He made a 999 call to the police saying he had seen youths in a garage area and when he had approached him they had attacked him. Police took his allegation very seriously.
“His false allegations led to a man being arrested nearby and held in custody. Police recovered the CCTV and Bryan told them he did not have the PIN to enable it to be viewed, but officers were able to do so.”
Hugh Ogilvie, defending, said his client was a man living on his pension who had limited means to pay any costs or compensation.