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Wisley woman jailed over false rape claim
A HORSE enthusiast, who stands by her story that she was drugged and raped by her former boyfriend, has been sentenced to three years in jail for perverting the course of justice.
Kate Woodhead was sent to prison today (Monday) after the judge found that she launched a ‘devious and manipulative’ campaign against former boyfriend Paul Joseph after he broke up with her in April 2009.
During the trial, jurors heard that Woodhead, 31, went to Woking police station on April 11, 2009 and told police that Mr Joseph had fed her a Pringles sandwich laced with diazepam, when they were living together at their home at Bracken Lodge in Wisley Lane, Wisley.
She claimed that this made her pass out and he then took her to the bedroom and undressed her. She said she woke up with him on top of her.
The next morning Woodhead went with friends to Woking police station and reported that Mr Joseph had raped her.
The case was dropped on September 6 following evidence from mutual friends who raised concerns about the validity of the claims.
After Mr Joseph was arrested, Woodhead took out an injunction stopping him from contacting her at their home. During this time, she sold or stole a number of his items, totalling £25,000 and transferred a BMW motorbike and a Porsche 911 into her name.
These constituted to two counts of theft and one of fraud, which the jury also found her guilty of.
Highlighting that the false rape claim did not lead to Mr Joseph spending much time at the police station, Woodhead’s defence solicitor Andrew Turton said: “He was not in custody other than for his interview. He was not subjected to a strip search or medical examination by the police doctors.”
In mitigation, Mr Turton added: “Kate Woodhead is woman who has worked hard to try and establish some form of independent life for herself.
"Her commitment and hard work shines out from the references from many directions, from family, from friends, people that she’s work for and worked with. There are many people who speak of her good qualities.”
Sentencing Judge Neil Stewart also heard that Woodhead has been acting as a surrogate mother to a teenage girl and also has a close bond with her grandmother.
“This report took place at a time when she (Woodhead) was in a state of some mental and personal turmoil as a result off the events of early 2009,” said Mr Turton.
“This was against the background of a relationship which was failing or had failed, when she started to lose everything or most things that had become dear to her.”
The defence barrister added that she had also previously suffered from depression for which she had been prescribed prescription drugs.
Judge Stewart added: “The offences which form the indictment are all part of a deliberate and intentional campaign waged by you against Mr Joseph as retribution against him, in order to secure personal gain for yourself.
“These offences therefore must be seen as devious and manipulative. You are wholly unrepentant.”
“Every false allegation of rape increases the plight of those who have been victims of this dreadful crime, it makes the offence harder to prove as jurors are, rightly so, reluctant to convict.”
He said that sending Woodhead to jail would serve as both a punishment and as a deterrent.
"It is ultimately an offence so serious that nothing other that an immediate sentence of imprisonment can be considered,” he said.
Woodhead, of Wisley Lane, did not react as the sentence was read out.