Monday, December 1, 2008

Horrors! A false rape complainant can't retain her anonymity

Suppression lifted for false rape complainant

Name suppression has been refused for a 21-year-old woman whose false rape complaint forced part of central Christchurch to be shut down.

Alyshia Shannyn Clyne, a mother of two, was ordered to do 75 hours of community work by Christchurch District Court Judge Brian Callaghan, the Christchurch Court News website reported today.

She had pleaded guilty yesterday to a charge of making a false complaint to a woman police officer that she had been raped after a night drinking in the city with friends.

Clyne said she had been dragged through Strand Lane into Cathedral Square and raped by an unknown man early on November 6.

But video surveillance footage, and a statement from the friend she was with, showed the attack could not have happened.

While the complaint was investigated, part of the central city was cordoned off, disrupting businesses and pedestrian traffic. Ten police officers worked on the investigation.

Judge Callaghan said it had not been a minor complaint and had attracted very comprehensive police reaction.

She was a first offender but the seriousness of the offence needed an appropriate response and a firm reaction.

He refused final suppression of her name, sentenced her to 75 hours of community work, but gave leave for some of the hours to be converted to training.



Woman admits false rape complaint

A solo mother whose false rape complaint caused part of central Christchurch to be cordoned off has been granted interim name suppression while she awaits sentencing.

The 21-year-old said an unknown man had dragged her through Strand Lane into Cathedral Square and raped her early on November 6.

But when she was confronted with video surveillance footage showing no such incident, and the statement from the friend she was with, she accepted it could not have happened, the Christchurch District Court was told today.

The woman pleaded guilty to a charge of making a false complaint to a woman police detective that an offence of rape had been committed.

Judge Brian Callaghan put sentencing off till tomorrow afternoon so that probation could prepare a report.

“I want to know a bit more about this,” he said. “I am troubled by the number of false complaints seen to be made. The repercussions are serious for the people involved, including the police resources.”

Police prosecutor Al Manco said she had been drinking with friends around the city the previous evening.

At 3.50am she was spoken to by police on the corner of Colombo and Hereford Streets and said she had been raped. She was spoken to by a woman detective and continued to say that she had been forced down Strand Lane and into Cathedral Square and raped.

The area was cordoned off, causing disruption for nearby businesses and pedestrian traffic while an inquiry involving 10 police staff went ahead.

“As the investigation progressed it became apparent that the defendant was not attacked at all,” said Mr Manco. “Video surveillance showed that the defendant was in the company of an associate when she left the Rockpool Bar until she arrived at McDonalds on Colombo Street. This was confirmed by her friend she was with at the time.”

When confronted with this evidence by the police, she said: “I don’t know. I’m sure it happened. I can’t have been that drunk.”

Duty solicitor Carole Morgan said the woman was a solo mother, on the domestic purposes benefit, with children aged four and two years. She was already paying off substantial fines at $30 a week and would be able to do community work.

She applied for interim name suppression until tomorrow because there were “medical and mental health issues that need to be explored”.

“Publication has the potential to have quite an impact on her,” she said.

The order was granted by Judge Callaghan when he remanded her on bail to tomorrow.