Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Woman admits making up Darnall sex attack

A woman who admitted wasting police time by making false allegations of sexual assault in South Yorkshire has been fined £80.

The 41-year-old claimed to have been attacked by two men on land off Greenland Road in Darnall in January and two arrests were made.

Police said their investigation found inconsistencies in her account and the woman later admitted making it up.

News of the allegation spread fear and panic in the local area, police said.

The woman received a fixed penalty fine for the offence.

Det Insp Richard Liversidge said: "In this instance the investigating officers began to suspect that things were not quite right.

"Two men were arrested; however, witnesses and other information supported their account.

"Her false report tied up a good deal of police time that could have been spent on other matters, and unfortunately, cases like this can only have an adverse effect on efforts to tackle genuine reports of rape.

"The false allegation also spread unnecessary panic in the local community, who feared a rapist was at large."


Second Story that names the false accuser:

When a mother of five reported that she had been raped by two East European men, panic spread through her community and ethnic tension led to street violence.

Despite the arrest of two suspects, the crime remained unsolved and angry residents confronted police chiefs at a public meeting to voice fears for their safety.

Yesterday it was revealed that the ‘victim’, Susan Bradley, 41, later admitted to police that the attack never took place.

But instead of being taken to court for perverting the course of justice and facing a jail sentence, she escaped with an £80 fixed penalty for wasting police time.

The decision has been condemned by residents in Darnall, Sheffield, but police say it was the ‘best disposal’ taking into account the woman’s ‘previous good character’.

A major investigation was launched after Bradley claimed to have been raped by two men on wasteland near her home in the early hours of January 30.

A businesswoman in the area said: ‘East Europeans were targeted and beaten up after the woman said she had been raped by men from there.

‘What she did is disgusting, never mind the cost to taxpayers for all the extra police time. Now women may think twice about reporting rape for fear of not being believed.

‘It’s outrageous they have basically let her off with a slap on the wrist. What kind of message does that send out?’
Julie Lindley, who runs a hairdressing salon, said: ‘Her rape claim had the community up in arms.
‘She had our support and sympathy and we all pressed the police to catch the attackers. I am appalled that somebody would make up such an offence.’

South Yorkshire Police said they agreed on the fixed penalty fine after discussing the case with the Crown Prosecution Service. They refused to name the woman, but Bradley was identified by members of the community.

At her home yesterday, the jobless mother, who recently separated from her partner of 17 years, was still claiming to be a victim. Despite not contesting the fine for wasting police time she said two men had sex with her that night but she had not consented.

Bradley said: ‘I admit I had a lot to drink that night. They didn’t injure me but this has really affected me and my kids’ lives. They can’t even go to school because of all the rumours.’