Monday, August 23, 2010

False rape claim mum jailed

A YOUNG mother whose false rape claim led to an 18-year-old man being arrested and spending 13 hours in a police station has been sentenced to 15 months’ detention.

Nineteen-year-old Jade Brooks, who has recently given birth, broke down in tears at being separated from her baby daughter and was taken into custody still protesting her innocence.

Brooks, of Sherborne Road, Bury St Edmunds, had denied a charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice by making a false rape claim in July 2008 but was found guilty by a jury after a trial at Ipswich Crown Court in May when she was heavily pregnant.

The case was adjourned until yesterday for a pre-sentence report and to allow her to recover from giving birth.

Sentencing Brooks to 15 months detention in a young offenders’ institution, of which she will have to serve half, Judge David Goodin said that as a result of her making a “wicked” false rape claim an innocent man had been arrested and spent a number of hours at a police station.

During that time he had been subjected to an intimate examination by a doctor, interviewed under caution and following his release on bail had the matter hanging over him until he was told by police a couple of months later that no further action would be taken against him.

Judge Goodin said that as well as the damage to the wrongfully arrested suspect false rape claims did a huge disservice to women who were genuine victims of rape.

During the trial the court heard that Brooks was seen kissing and cuddling the teenager she later accused of raping her.

One of Brooks’ friends said that before disappearing into bushes in Haverhill, Brooks had allowed him to touch her breasts and had not seemed uncomfortable with what was going on.

The witness said that Brooks had been tipsy, but not drunk, and there hadn’t been any screams, cries for help or raised voices during the time Brooks was alone with the man in the bushes.

The same witness said that later the same evening she had gone with Brooks and the 18-year-old man to a house in Duddery Road, Haverhill, and claimed she had seen Brooks perform a sex act on him.

The court heard that after complaining to police that she had been raped she had subsequently refused to be video-interviewed about the allegation and the man was told he wouldn’t be prosecuted.

Shereen Dyer, for Brooks, said her client accepted the jury’s verdict but stood by her version of events which was that she had been telling the truth.

Miss Dyer urged the court to consider passing a suspended sentence on Brooks because of the damaging effect an immediate sentence would have on her and her baby.