Friday, February 15, 2008

Woman made up rape claim against husband

Story here

by Liz Keen, South Wales Echo

A WOMAN has been jailed for falsely accusing her estranged husband of rape.

Charmaine Honeywill, 26, told police that husband Andrew, from whom she had recently separated, had lain in wait for her in a darkened lane and attacked her.

“She told her mother he surprised her when she had to walk down the dark alley after leaving the Claude pub and that he pushed her against a wall and raped her,” Chris Lewis, prosecuting, told Cardiff Crown Court.

“But she later admitted she had made it up because she was angry with him and she wanted to hurt him as much as she had been hurt in the past.”

Despite pleas that she had been making a cry for help because of troubles in her background, Judge John Curran said he had no option but to jail her.

He said her husband had been kept in custody for 12 hours, had to give samples and had the prospect of a trial for rape hanging over him for several weeks.

“For a woman to make a false allegation of rape against a man is a very serious matter indeed,” Judge Curran told Honeywill, of Bronwydd Avenue, Penylan, Cardiff.

“It also has the unfortunate side effect, because of considerable public disquiet, of casting doubt on genuine complainants.”

Two police teams were put on the case that night, one to deal with Honeywill and the other to arrest her husband.

In all, 10 officers and two doctors were involved and almost 100 hours of police time were wasted.

The allegation was made in September and the following month Honeywill said she wanted to withdraw it but still insisted it was true.

It was not until November that she admitted lying.

In 2004 she had received a police caution for making a false “threats to kill” allegation against another man.

Defence barrister Lawrence Jones said of the latest offence: “It was a cry for help which snowballed and she’s thoroughly ashamed.”

Honeywill, who admitted perverting the course of justice, will serve six weeks in jail before being released on licence.