Thursday, July 22, 2010

Women admits false Norwich rape claim

A woman who made a false rape claim to police cost taxpayers £15,000, a court heard yesterday.

Bernadette Core, 29, of Friarscroft Lane, Wymondham, admitted attempting to pervert the course of justice between October 2009 and February 2010 by making a false allegation of rape when she appeared at Norwich Crown Court.

The court heard that Norfolk police spent £15,000 on the investigation before establishing that she made up the incident.

The charge came after she made a 999 call to Norfolk police in the early hours of October 4 claiming she had been raped at an house in Norwich.

Two men were arrested and interviewed by police but further investigations established that no crime had taken place.

Her case was adjourned for reports and she is due to be sentenced on June 24. Judge Peter Jacobs said he wanted a victim impact statement and told Core that it was a serious offence.

Det Insp Debbie Gunnill, from the force's vulnerable persons directorate, said that is was a rare case. She added that it should not deter victims from reporting genuine rapes to the police.

She said; “Norfolk constabulary treats all reports of rapes seriously and all are investigated thoroughly. On rare occasions, evidence obtained during an investigation may suggest a false allegation, in these cases we carefully consider all the facts in conjunction with the Crown Prosecution Service to decide whether it is appropriate to take action against the individual. Decisions are taken on a case by case basis.

“We are very mindful that such cases as this can have a negative impact however I would like to give my reassurance that we are committed to giving victims of rape the best service we can and encourage any person who has been raped to come forward.”

The case comes as ministers prepare to grant men the same right of anonymity as their alleged victims.

The government plans to pass a bill changing the law which allows suspects' names, ages and addresses to be published while rape victims are granted lifelong anonymity.

It is believed that defendants will be named once they are convicted of rape or plead guilty to the offence.

It is hoped the new measures will prevent the false reporting of rapes and stop innocent men's names and reputations being tarnished by having their details revealed in the media.