Thursday, March 25, 2010

The plight of the falsely accused: 'She’s been let off and I’m still having to sneak around . . . .'

False rape claim destroyed my life

A YOUNG man falsely accused of rape has told how he went into hiding to escape retribution.

Grant Bowers, 20, says he still has to visit his parents’ home in the dark, and has lost friends following the false accusation from Sarah-Jane Hilliard, 21.

He suffered verbal abuse, threats and attacks on his flat and was forced to move following his arrest in July 2008 for a crime he did not commit.

The ordeal has also caused him to lose confidence, left him untrusting of young women and often makes him physically sick.

Hilliard was found guilty of perverting the course of justice at a trial last year, and on Monday she was given a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and 300 hours of community service.

Mr Bowers, who faced up to ten years in prison because of Hilliard’s lies, said she has got off lightly.

He said: “That’s not even a slap on the wrist.

“I was hoping she’d go to prison, or to hospital at the very least.

“She’s been let off and I’m still having to sneak around because there are still people after me who think I did it.”

His dad Tony, 48, added: “I’m dumbfounded.

“My son was facing up to ten years in prison for rape on the strength of her lies.

“He’s lost his freedom, yet she’s still got hers.”

Hilliard told cops Mr Bowers raped her in the toilets at Basildon train station, even though she had been the one who dragged him into the loos and initiated sex.

He was arrested at his family home and spent eight days on bail until police discovered Hilliard had been lying and dropped the charges.