Monday, July 6, 2009

Natalie Jefferson jailed for twelve months for false rape claim

Before you read the news story below, ask yourself, what must innocent men do to protect themselves from false rape claims on a date? Videotape the entire encounter? (You'd better check to see if it's legal to videotape someone without her knowledge in your jurisdiction). Far less fool-proof: send a self-serving email or text message to your date afterward telling her what a great time you had, and noting how you're glad she had such a good time, too? (A splendid idea -- such ante litem motam conduct is inconsistent with the conduct one would expect of a rapist.) Or don't date women at all? (An entire movement promotes such ideas.)

At least in this case, justice was served: the woman is being deprived of her liberty for one year to pay for her terrible crime. While one year is arguably insufficient, it is better than the typical sentence for these offenses.

And the judge got it right: his focus was on the harm to an innocent man. Good work, Judge Esmond Faulks.

Woman jailed over false date rape claims

A WOMAN who falsely claimed she had been date-raped by a man she met over the Internet has been jailed.

Natalie Jefferson told officers she had been attacked in a back lane during a night out in Newcastle by a stranger she met in a chatroom.As a result of her lies, an innocent man who has never been in troublebefore was arrested and spent the best part of a day in police custody as a sex suspect.

Newcastle Crown Court heard Jefferson, 27, of Chichester Way, Fellgate,Jarrow, started speaking to the man on-line on January 7, and they arranged to meet that night.

Their night out in the city was cut short when Jefferson claimed one of her children had been rushed to hospital and she had to get straight back home.

Jefferson, who had been receiving a series of telephone calls from an exduring the night out, parted ways with her date at Felling Metro station.

From there she went to a neighbour's home back in Fellgate, where she reported she had been attacked by the man she had been out with.

Prosecutor Robin Patton told the court: "She said he had raped her in aback lane.

"She said he left her in the back lane and she made her way home on herown. She was extremely distressed."

The court heard while Jefferson was taken by police to a specialist rapecrisis centre for three hours, where she was examined and looked after, and the back lane in Newcastle city centre was cordoned off.

Police spent the entire night guarding the crime scene awaiting specialist scenes of crime officers.

The innocent accused was arrested at 10.30 the next morning, and it was not until that afternoon, after police checked CCTV to corroborate Jefferson's story, that he was released without charge.

Mr Patton said: "It was quite clear she had completely concocted this account for no good reason at all."

The court heard the man was about to go through the ordeal of being medically examined when the truth was finally revealed.

Mr Patton said: "They immediately stopped the examination because theywere sure he was an innocent man."

Ailsa MacDonald, defending, said Jefferson has a considerable psyciatric background and a problem with alcohol.

Judge Esmond Faulks jailed Jefferson, who admitted perverting the course of justice, for 12 months.

He told her: "Police obviously took your complaint extremely seriously,because rape is a very serious offence.

"This was a huge waste of police time, and, more serious than that, is this led to the arrest of an innocent man."