Monday, April 8, 2013

Drug addict jailed for robbery after false rape claims

Story reported here: http://www.kentonline.co.uk/kentish_express/news/2013/april/5/false_rape.aspx

A woman involved in a street mugging after the victim was accused of raping her has been jailed for two years nine months.

Sheelagh Tierney refused to board the van at Bronzfield Prison in Ashford, Surrey, to attend court on Friday and was sentenced in her absence.

The 37-year-old drug addict and repeat offender and two accomplices had spotted Callum Harvey withdrawing cash from a bank dispenser in Rochester High Street on October 16 last year.

He walked off up Star Hill and realised Tierney and one of the men were following him.

Mr Harvey told a jury at Maidstone Crown Court that Tierney was calling to him. He ignored her and quickened his pace, despite having broken his ankle recently.

They caught up with him and one of the men punched him in the face. He was then held against a fence.

“The man was making threats, claiming I had raped her and he was going to beat me up,” said Mr Harvey. “They asked where I lived and what my name was.

“They were saying I had raped this woman. I became aware of another man approaching. I said: ‘Please help me, I am being mugged.’ He grabbed my arms and helped pin me to the fence.
“The woman went into my pockets and took out my wallet. She took £20 that I had drawn from the bank. She put the wallet back in my pocket. She started saying it wasn’t me and she could tell by my eyes.”

One of the men warned him not to tell the police. When he checked his wallet, the £20 had gone. As he walked away Tierney apologised.

He saw her again while in Subway in Rochester High Street with his girlfriend 12 days later. He called the police and she was arrested.

He later picked her out of an identity procedure. The two men have not been arrested.

Tierney, of Weavers Court, King Street, Rochester, denied robbery but was convicted in her absence because of illness.

Passing sentence, Judge Charles Byers said: “This type of offence is prevalent and a clear message has to be sent out. She has an appalling record.”

He added: “I hope she gets help in prison for her drug use.”