Friday, August 9, 2013

Woman jailed over false rape claim that caused a man to be arrested

An Essex woman has been jailed for 12 months for falsely claiming that she had been raped.

Cathy Richardson, 26, from Viking Court in Shoebury, told officers she had been sexually assaulted several times over two months in 2012 by a man she knew.

A man was arrested on suspicion of rape but was later released without charge after a series of interviews.

Richardson was jailed at Basildon Crown Court after pleading guilty to perverting the course of justice.

'Clear message'
Det Ch Insp Scott Cannon of Essex Police said: "When a false allegation of rape is made, it heightens the difficulty for those victims who have suffered from sexual abuse."

He said the outcome of the prosecution of Richardson should send out "a very clear message" to anyone who deliberately lied to police.

"The actions of Cathy Richardson in this case led to an innocent man being arrested, having to spend time in a custody cell and undergoing an intrusive and personal medical examination," he said.

"He had to endure the stigma of being suspected of a serious offence, only to be cleared of a crime he knew he had not committed.

"Detectives spent many hours of police time on this investigation which could have been better spent on protecting some of society's most vulnerable victims and pursuing real offenders."