Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Teen admits rape story 'all in head'

Story here

A woman who told police she was raped in central Hamilton late last month has admitted making it up.

Hamilton teenager Caitlyn Ann Moore, 17, pleaded guilty to making a false statement when she appeared in the Hamilton District Court yesterday.

Moore rang police about 5.20am on February 29, to say she had been raped earlier that morning.

Police began investigating, and cordoned off an area of London St for several hours.

Moore said she had been drinking beer, vodka and lemonade on the night she was supposedly raped, and had gone into the city with two men.

The men went into a nightclub, but after Moore was denied entry, she decided to walk to her sister's house.

Moore told police she was grabbed from behind at the intersection of Victoria and London Sts, dragged into a grass reserve area, thrown to the ground, and raped. The "offender" then ran off.

But when police questioned Moore further, she said the incident was "all in her head" and admitted that none of it happened.

Moore said she got delusional sometimes, and had become emotional for no reason on the night.

Moore's lawyer Wayne Dollimore asked for her to be discharged without conviction, emphasising her age and lack of previous convictions.

"It's still going to be a conviction that will be with her for life," he said.

Mr Dollimore said Moore had not been able to give him an explanation for her offending, and noted that the $1800 reparations asked for by police was a lot of money for her to pay.

"It's a large amount for a young lady."

Police prosecutor Baden Hilton said police opposed a discharge without conviction, as it was important that Moore was held accountable for her actions, and that others were deterred from doing anything similar.

"Doing so (discharging) would be out of all proportion to the gravity of the offence.

"We need to protect those who have genuine complaints and we also need to discourage this kind of behaviour in the community," he said.

Community Magistrate Rae Brooker agreed with Mr Hilton, and convicted Moore, ordering her to pay $1800 reparations at no less than $20 a week.

"You are old enough to know that that behaviour was very inappropriate you used police resources that were not required," Ms Brooker said.

Moore, whose mother was in court to support her yesterday, was receiving counselling.
Earlier this month Hamilton CIB Detective Senior Sergeant Chris Page described false rape complaints as a huge waste of police time, which took valuable resources away from legitimate cases.