A MAN who shot himself in the foot but told police that a drive-by gang did it has been jailed for 18 weeks.

Paramedics found Hassan Hussain, of South Bank Road, Bury, lying in nearby Grosvenor Street at 6.45pm on October 17, last year.

An ambulance took the 21-year-old to Fairfield Hospital where he was treated for a gunshot wound to his foot.

Hussain told detectives there were people wearing balaclavas travelling in a small, dark car and one of them shot him.

Police launched a major manhunt and stepped up patrols to reassure residents.

At the time, Detective Inspector Chris Wood, of the Bury major incident team, said: “I can assure the people of Bury that we are treating this extremely seriously. We are now appealing for anyone who saw anything out of the ordinary to contact us.

“Your information could help us take some dangerous men off the streets.”

Inquiries took a twist when forensic experts discovered the gun had been shot at extremely close range, leading officers to believe Hussain shot himself.

At Bury Magistrates Court last week, Hussain pleaded guilty to a charge of wasting police time.

Afterwards, Detective Chief Inspector Bob Tonge said: “The false reporting of any crime is a serious issue and is not something that we take lightly. In this case, time was spent interviewing the victim, potential witnesses, collecting evidence and speaking to experts. The local community were also unnecessarily alarmed as they were mistakenly led to believe that there was a gunman at large in the area.”