Monday, July 12, 2010

Weoley Castle woman jailed for two years after false rape allegation

I found this rather incredible. Friday's post, and now this one, both with two year sentences being handed down. Saturday's, 18 months. I would like to think this is the start of seeing false accusers being punished for their crimes.

A WOMAN from Birmingham who falsely accused a man of rape has been sentenced to two years in prison.

Sara Downing, 23, of West Cliff Place, Weoley Castle, made the allegation against the unnamed man last September, leading to his arrest.

It was only after a medical examination that the man was cleared and Downing came clean about the claim in November.

Birmingham Crown Court heard she made the false claim to a friend who convinced Downing to report the incident to the police.

Richard Franck QC, prosecuting, said the accused man was arrested and held for three hours and then bailed.

He remained on bail and under suspicion for three months, during which time his mobile phone and car were confiscated.

“He described it as traumatic,” said Mr Franck. “In a victim impact statement he said his life had been put on hold and his name dragged through the mud.”

Gerrard Cullen QC, defending, said once she admitted the lie she told police in passing she had been raped but could not reveal the identity of the attacker through fear and so gave the false name.

She said she had met the man she accused months before when they were both patients in hospital.

“She was backed into a corner and she gave a false name.” Mr Cullen said. “Once that lie was out of the bag she had to go along with it,” Mr Cullen said. “She offers an unreserved apology to the victim, she is disgusted with herself.”

In mitigation Mr Cullen said at the time she made the allegation Downing was in a distressed state and since then had also lost her father who committed suicide.

Handing Downing a two-year prison sentence and one month for a Bail Act offence, Judge Robert Orme said false rape allegations made real offences harder to prosecute because of the doubt they place in the mind of juries.

“You invented that story without regard for the dreadful consequences that befell him.

“It could have been brought to an end with a word from you.

“It is the gravity of the offence that has made me pass this sentence.”

Link: http://www.birminghammail.net/news/birmingham-news/2010/06/12/weoley-castle-woman-jailed-for-two-years-after-false-rape-allegation-97319-26637217/