Monday, July 26, 2010

Woman jailed for false rape claim

A woman who made a false claim of rape because she wanted to split up with her husband has been sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Bernadett Kore, 29, claimed she had been raped by two men in an alleyway off Prince of Wales Road in October. She gave police a description of two black men she had seen in a nightclub that night, and police arrested the pair after checking the club CCTV records.

Nick Methold, prosecuting in Norwich Crown Court today, said that she went to police in October last year and gave “a long and detailed story…with gory and intimate details” of her supposed ordeal. He said: “Police had devoted considerable resources to it, sealing off the area and putting extra officers onto the case, at a cost of £15,000.”

He said that her claims had a damaging effect on the two men, who were not told that they were off the hook until Kore admitted her story was made up in February. One of the victims lost three stone in weight with worry. The college tutor of one of the men described how “he went from being a bright young man, open and vivacious, to being withdrawn, tired and lacking in motivation”. His college attendance also dropped. He said: “All that can be attributed directly to the actions of this defendant in making up this wicked story.”

Kore, who has a young child and lives on Friarscroft Lane, Wymondham, had previously admitted perverting the course of justice. She was told she would have to serve half her sentence.

Sentencing her, judge Alasdair Darroch said: “You have caused very serious damage to two innocent young men. I accept you did not name any individuals and it might have been that no-one was arrested but when people were arrested, you could have corrected the record.”

He said her offence was particularly serious because false claims of rape affect the minds of jurors trying genuine cases.

Jonathan Morgans, mitigating, said: “She went home drunk to her husband and came up with the story really to get rid of him. It snowballed from there. She couldn't have realised the extent to which it would grow and grow.

“She couldn't regret it more. She simply wishes to apologise for what she has done.”

He said she had previously been of good character.

Police emphasised that rape claims are taken seriously and that false claims are very rare. Det Insp Matt Sharman, previously head of Norfolk Police's rape unit, said: “This is the first false report of rape I have come across in Norfolk in more than 20 years."

[FRS Comment] - Well, Detective, while I seriously doubt it is the first false report in more than 20 years, unless your courts hand down a serious punishment, don't expect it to be your last.