Saturday, January 26, 2008

Girl, 15, lied about rape

Story here

by Deborah James, Daily Post

A GIRL of 15 narrowly escaped jail yesterday for falsely claiming that her own stepfather tried to rape her.

The teenager from the Rhyl area went to a police station and claimed that her stepfather climbed on top of her while she was in bed, rubbed himself against her and said “you know you like it”.

The stepfather was wrongly accused of attempted rape and indecent assault and held in custody for four days. The charges hung over him for five months and he was about to stand trial when his stepdaughter finally admitted she had made up the story.

She was charged with perverting the course of justice.

Yesterday, the girl was given a three-year supervision order at Prestatyn youth court and must observe an 8pm to 7am curfew for three months.

Court chairman Alice Jones said the offence merited a custodial sentence but because the girl was showing so many positive signs of changing the Bench wanted to support her.

Peter Humphrey Jones, prosecuting, told the court: “An innocent man was arrested, taken into police custody, kept in custody and had proceedings hanging over him for extremely serious offences until no evidence was offered.”

Mr Jones said that last June the girl went to a police station in Manchester and claimed that while she was in bed, and her mother was out, her stepfather had climbed on top of her and rubbed up against her, telling her: “You know you like it”.

On another occasion, she alleged, he had grabbed her private parts.

The man was arrested and the evidence seemed so strong that he was charged with indecent assault and attempted rape and committed for trial at Manchester Crown Court.

In November, however, the girl’s mother told the police that the allegations were false, and when the teenager was interviewed she admitted she had lied.

“She maintained that prior to making the complaint she had been pressured by her aunt and felt she had no option but to make the complaint,” said Mr Jones.

The girl explained that she had been taking alcohol and drugs at the time and felt unwell.
The aunt told the police that she had merely supported the girl who claimed to have been sexually abused and had not persuaded her to say anything.

“I can’t believe that she has lied because she was very convincing and seemed upset,” said the aunt.

Daniel Weed, defending, said the girl had a chaotic background, becoming involved in drugs and alcohol at an early age, but since moving to North Wales had settled down.

“In the past the police were at their front door more often than the postman, but she has really turned the corner and there has been a dramatic change in her behaviour.

“She made a very foolish decision when she went to the police but didn’t realise the impact it would have,” he said.

Mr Weed said the man bore the girl no malice.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

My nightmare after false rape allegation

Story here

A devastated Alfreton man who spent seven months in prison after being wrongly accused of rape has spoken about his traumatic ordeal.

In February last year 43-year-old David Wilson, formerly of Oakerthorpe, was charged with rape and several other crimes after a woman acquaintance made allegations against him.

But just four days before David was due to appear at Derby Crown Court to face the charges, the case was dropped after new information about his case came to light.

Despite having his name cleared, the father-of-two has been left homeless and out of business and David says the experience of prison life has changed him forever.

"When I was in Leicester prison, I was put in with the paedophiles and rapists and they think you are the same as them — it was terrible, very stressful because I'm a family man — I had a constant headache when I was in there," he said."You get treated with more respect if you are in for murder, but if you're in for rape, there is a lot of trouble."

After being arrested and charged with dangerous driving, assault, intimidating witnesses, sexual assault and rape last February, David served eight weeks in Leicester Prison on remand before being transferred to Nottingham Prison.

He said: "In prison, you have to fight for your life and it was hard –– people would spit in my food and I would regularly get into fights.

"When I was in Nottingham prison, there were fights breaking out all the time and slashings every day."

David, who is currently staying with his mother in Whatstandwell, Derbyshire, says his whole family have been affected by the events of the last 11 months.

David said: "This has scarred my kids but they knew all along that I was innocent. "Their lives have been disrupted as they've had to change schools and move in with their grandmother but I'm back with them now."

After being released from prison in August under the condition that he stayed out of Derbyshire, David was then re-arrested and sent to Birmingham's Winson Green prison in October after the original complainant claimed he broke the conditions.

He was released in November after the case was dropped following new evidence, although he says people have treated him differently since the ordeal began.

He said: "I've got loads of friends around Pinxton but people look at me like I'm scum – only one mate, an old friend from school, stood by me through all of this – hopefully people
will change their opinions now."

After previously running a successful mobile catering business, selling hot food from his van at football matches and other venues, David says he has lost all his customers and thousands of pounds in earnings.

David said: "I used to make a lot of money from my business around local venues and football grounds such as Hucknall Town and Somercotes Industrial Estate.

"Now I'm trying to think about what to do for work as I have to try and get all my customers back but it's like having to start again.

"I'm glad I'm back with my children again but I'm still very bitter."

His solicitor Jim Durcan confirmed that the charges were dropped against David after evidence retrieved on his mobile phone sim card confirmed that the allegations were false.

He said: "It has been a huge ordeal for him and has obviously had a catastrophic effect on his life."

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Victim of serial rape false accuser charged for board and lodging for jail stay while he was wrongly convicted

The inanity of this decision speaks for itself. An innocent man is required to pay for his room and board for the three years he spent in jail after the system couldn't protect him from a serial accuser.

Victim of false rape claim must pay £12,500 for bed and board in jail

By SAM GREENHILLLast updated at 00:00 01 January 2008

A man wrongly jailed when a woman cried rape has failed to prevent being charged £12,500 for his "board and lodging" while in prison.

Warren Blackwell, 38, spent three years in jail as a convicted sex attacker until his 'victim' was unmasked as a fantasist.

It was revealed he has been awarded £252,500 compensation for his lost years - but minus the estimated cost of his food and accommodation while behind bars.

Mr Blackwell said he had failed to stop the money being siphoned off after his lawyer told him there was little to be done about it.

The father-of-two, said: "It's the principle of the thing. They slam you in jail for three years and four months, brand you a sex attacker, leave your family to cope without you, then turn around and say sorry but demand £12,500 for living expenses incurred during your time inside.

"I tried to fight against it but my solicitor says the only hope of overturning the decision would be to go all the way to the European Court of Human Rights. I would probably use up all the compensation money on legal fees if I did that."

Warren Blackwell, with wife Tanya, is being charged £12,500 for his 'board and lodging' in prison despite being wrongly jailed.

Mr Blackwell was jailed on the word of a woman who claims he seized her at knifepoint outside a village club early on New Year's Day 1999, marched her down an alleyway and indecently assaulted her.

She picked him out of an identity parade and a jury found him guilty, even though there was no forensic evidence and he had no previous convictions.

His wife Tanya never doubted him and an investigation by the Criminal Cases Review Commission later discovered that his accuser had invented the story.

Not only did Mr Blackwell not commit the crime, but the crime had never taken place.

It also emerged she was a serial accuser, having fabricated at least seven other allegations of sexual and physical assault against blameless men.

She kept changing her name and moving around, so police forces never realised they were dealing with the same woman.

Mr Blackwell, of Woodford Halse, Northamptonshire, was dramatically cleared at the Appeal Court in 2005, and lodged a formal bid for compensation.

It was accepted by the Government, but left to an assessor to calculate the actual amount. The assessor has now estimated that the portion of Mr Blackwell's compensation for loss of earnings - put at just over £70,000 - should be cut by 20 per cent to cover his "living expenses."

But Mr Blackwell said: "If murderers and robbers don't get charged for their time in the clanger, how come an innocent man does? It doesn't make sense and it is plain discrimination."

His solicitor, Robert Berg, said: "The adjudicator made a fair award of compensation for the suffering caused in this miscarriage of justice, however it is very unfair to charge him board and lodging.

"It is illogical that someone should have to pay for a punishment - which prison is - that should never have been given in the first place.

"Even though he was in prison, it doesn't mean there were no living expenses at his home. His family was still there, having to feed themselves and manage the home.

"So they cooked one less pork chop because he wasn't there - it's hardly a great saving, is it?"

The practice of charging "bed and breakfast" was challenged in 2007 by the Bridgewater Three, the men wrongly convicted of murdering newspaper boy Carl Bridgewater in 1978, but the principle was upheld by the House of Lords.

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