05/04/2016 10:19 BST | Updated 06/04/2017 06:12 BST

Girls To Write Letters Of Apology To Man Falsely Accused Of Sex Assault

Two girls are to write letters of apology to a man they falsely accused of a sex attack.

Police had issued an image of a man on a bike who had reportedly attempted to sexually assault a 13-year-old girl who was walking with her 12-year-old friend.

The man subsequently came forward in a bid to clear his name and the youths then confessed they had lied about the alleged incident in Leigh, Greater Manchester, on Saturday.

The girls have been spoken to in front of their parents and all parties have agreed to restorative justice as the best outcome, said Greater Manchester Police.

Both girls will write letters of apology to the man they had wrongly accused, added police.

Detective Constable Brian Johnston said: “First and foremost, I would like to send my sincerest thanks to the members of the public who came forward and helped with our investigation.

“Your assistance has resulted in an innocent man clearing his name, and wrongs being righted.

“Quite what inspired the girls to lie about such a serious and terrible crime, I cannot say.

“But they have been spoken to in the strongest possible terms and are under no illusions as to the severity of what they have done and how damaging false allegations can be.

“Thankfully, their parents and the man in question were fully supportive of restorative justice and the girls will now have the chance to apologise fully for the terrible accusations they fabricated against this poor man.”

Police have asked people to stop circulating the released image on social media.