Sunday, September 20, 2009

Mother imprisoned for false rape claim against her ex-lover

Two months in prison. It took police eight weeks to check the surveillance cameras, which showed that Mr. Wheeler wasn't present at the restaurant. And again, why, other than to elicit sympathy, is the fact that she has four kids even mentioned? Perhaps, if the press would report, not editorialize, they wouldn't have a declining readership.

Rhetorical question, but shouldn't police gather evidence BEFORE arresting someone? At what point will we see the investigation occur before the arrest? Her word is all it took for a man to be locked up for two months. She gots twelve months. I hope she also loses custody of all of her children, for their safety.

12 month sentence for false rape accusation.

An innocent man spent two months in prison after his former lover staged her own abduction and falsely accused him of raping her.

Alison Welfare, 26, who has four children, was found by a cleaner on the floor of a McDonald's lavatory, semi-naked, bound and gagged, with her clothes torn and covered in paint. She told police that Christopher Wheeler, 38, a former boyfriend, had abducted her from a street in south-east London and held her at knifepoint before raping her. She claimed the attack followed sustained harassment.

Blackfriars Crown Court was told yesterday that Mr Wheeler spent eight weeks at High Down prison in Surrey before police discovered his accuser had made up the story.

Sentencing Welfare to 12 months in jail, the judge, Nicholas Valios QC, described it as a "worrying case".

He told her: "You embroiled a wholly innocent man in very serious allegations of rape, threats to kill and kidnap, and you spun a web of lies and deceit in order to bring about the arrest and, indeed, remand in custody of that innocent man for a period of two months. False allegations of this nature must be deterred. People who make these false allegations not only do great harm to those subjected to genuine sexual attacks, but to the criminal justice system itself."

Jennifer Knight, for the prosecution, said Welfare and Mr Wheeler, who are both deaf and from Orpington, Kent, met in February last year. Welfare first went to police in August 2002 and complained that Mr Wheeler had harassed her and sent her threatening mail.

Ten days after first going to the police, on 31 August, Welfare went to McDonald's in Peckham, south-east London, to set up the bogus rape attack.

Ms Knight told the court: "She was found in one of the cubicles half-naked with her clothes torn. She had been bound, gagged and her clothes torn and covered from head to toe with white paint ... She was dazed and distressed and taken to hospital."

Welfare told police she had been forced to stop by another car flashing its lights while she was driving in Orpington High Street and she had been shoved into a vehicle by two men. "She said a plastic bag had been pushed over her head and [she was] threatened with a knife," said Ms Knight.

Earlier that day she said she had received menacing text messages. But it turned out she had sent them to her phone from an internet café.

On 6 September Mr Wheeler was arrested and charged with rape, conspiracy to kidnap, making threats to kill and harassment. He was remanded in custody for two months and his case sent to the Old Bailey.

But police checked surveillance cameras and discovered that Welfare had gone into McDonald's on her own. Mr Wheeler was then released as Welfare was no longer a credible witness. She later admitted making up the allegations and pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice. She has no previous convictions.

Jocelyn Gibbs, for the defence, said Welfare had become pregnant by another man while in a relationship with Mr Wheeler and made the allegations "out of fear" that Mr Wheeler would take her baby.