Saturday, October 3, 2009

More details on the UK version of Hofstra

More on the Victoria Salter false rape case we call the UK Hofstra (we call it that only because of its facial similarities with Hofstra and the fact that it follows the Hofstra case closely in time -- the fact is, there are a lot of cases like Hofstra, and this one). In the following news account, we are told that the false accuser has a child, and a troubled personal life. We also hear the judge say: "Every false allegation of rape increases the plight of those who have truly been victims of this most dreadful crime." Then, buried deep in the story, we finally read about the actual victims of the crime: a little snippet about how the falsely accused boys "had been affected" by their wrongful arrest. This is a good example of the gynocentric lens through which false rape claims are viewed. And again, note that, as in Hofstra, if there had not been a video, the innocent boys likely still would be behind bars. This raises the question, how many other innocent men and boys are behind bars because they didn't have the benefit of a video?

Woman jailed for rape hoax

Published Date: 02 October 2009
By Stef Hall
Crime Reporter

A woman who falsely claimed to police she had been gang raped has been jailed – after damning mobile phone footage emerged.

Victoria Salter, a 25-year-old single mum of a three-year-old boy, pretended she had been raped by up to five men. The hairdresser, of Broad Meadow, Lostock Hall, even shaved her head and told her boss they had used hair removal cream on her.But she was caught out by mobile phone footage she never knew existed which showed her enthusiastically having sex with two teenagers she alleged attacked her.

She pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice and was jailed for a year.

Sentencing Salter, Judge Jonathan Gibson told her: "Every false allegation of rape increases the plight of those who have truly been victims of this most dreadful crime."

Prosecuting, Rachel Woods told the court that Salter had been drinking in Leyland with one of her colleagues on the night of September 13, 2008.

She said: "Towards the end of the evening she ended up outside the Fox and Lion pub and was seen to be talking to three young men.

"They had been at each other's houses drinking alcohol. They were not allowed in the pub as they were underage. One was approached by Victoria Salter and she was heard to describe him as being 'cute' and she was flirting with him."

Salter invited them back to her home, which they described in statements as being "a tip".

The court heard she had lost one of her shoes and her handbag and had to climb in through a window.

Once inside she encouraged one of them to have sex. She performed sex acts with two boys at the same time. The third boy filmed the act on his phone, but it only picked up the audio.

Salter had a shower then came downstairs in a towel. She dropped the towel, climbed onto one of the boys and had intercourse again. This, unknown to her, was filmed on the third boy's mobile phone.

The following morning Salter went to her boss's home and claimed she had been held down and raped. She showed her a bald patch on her head, claiming her attackers had used hair removal cream on her head.

A 999 call was made and she was examined and interviewed. The three boys were arrested.

But when one of them showed police the clips, she was arrested and charged with perverting the course of justice.

Miss Woods said the boys, who we have chosen not to name, had been affected by their arrests because they lived in such a small community and had to undergo intimate examinations.

Salter, who lost her job as a result of the case, sobbed in the dock.

Defending, Keith Thomas said she had an unfortunate background and had a history of self-harm, alcohol abuse and low self-esteem.

He added: "At the time she was struggling financially with a very young child. She has drastically reduced her drinking. She says she doesn't want anything like this to happen again. It is clear she bitterly regrets the trouble and experience she put the young men through."

But Judge Gibson said: "Juries may be affected when they hear of false allegations such as this, so it makes matter more difficult to deal with.

"There has to be a policy element in sentencing cases of this kind."