Thursday, February 3, 2011

Woman jailed for 15 months after fake rape claim that caused 17-year-old boy to be arrested

Here's a case where the decision to prosecute and the conviction were exactly right. The sentence was too lenient, but it was still enough to give the accuser and others pause. In too many cases, the false rape victim is jailed for longer than his false accuser. The judge properly recognized that the harm deserving of punishment here was the ordeal to the teenager who was falsely accused.

Here is the news story:

An east London woman has been jailed after making a fake rape allegation against a 17-year-old boy.

Joanne Parker, 30, of Boleyn Road, London E6 was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Friday for attempting to pervert the course of justice following her report of a false allegation of rape on 5 May 2009.

A 17-year-old male was arrested as the result of her allegation made on 5 May 2009 to police in Dagenham and he was detained for some 16 hours. The subsequent police investigation identified that the account given to police was false.

Parker was charged with perverting the course of justice on 24 November last year following a further investigation and review of the facts by the Crown Prosecution Service. She pleaded guilty to the offence on 14 January 2011 at a pre-trial review.

Borough Commander Matt Bell said: "The sentence reflects the impact of the false allegation on the young man who was arrested, his family, and the confidence of other victims of sexual violence to come forward to police.

“Cases like this are very rare and I hope that those that suffer sexual violence will continue to have the confidence to come forward to police and allow us to provide support and take action."

"False allegations such as this are very damaging, to both the innocent victim in this case, and to those genuine victims who may, as a result of cases such as this, feel reluctant to come forward.

“I would like to reassure victims that they will be believed and supported and encourage them to continue to come forward, whilst reiterating the serious consequences of making false and malicious allegations."