Wednesday, December 4, 2013

'False rape claim woman is jailed'

From the news report here.

A 23-year-old “compulsive liar”, who falsely accused a former “ungallant” boyfriend of rape after he ended their on-off relationship by text, was sentenced to three months yesterday.

Judge Desmond Marrinan told Natasha Foster from the Ballymoney Road, Ballymena, that such wicked accusations could be seen as an attack on the criminal justice system, adding to the plight of genuine rape victims, undermining their claims in the eyes of the public and also making it difficult for juries having to decide such cases.

The Antrim Crown Court judge said it was a difficult case when it came to deciding what was a fair, just and proportionate sentence. However, while a sentence of six months, if not longer, would be justified, given the mitigating factors, such as her genuine remorse, and the fact she was now a young mother, he would reduce the sentence to three months.

Foster, who admitted a charge of perverting the course of public justice, is the third woman in Northern Ireland to be sentenced for making similar claims. In 2010 Newtownabbey woman Lindsay Gorman was jailed for nine months, while last January a Dromore woman, Belinda Poots Sneddon, was given a two-year suspended jail term plus a £1,000 fine.

Judge Marrinan said that in November 2011 Foster, who had a new boyfriend, still harboured the hope of a reconcilliation with her former lover, “Mr X”. He had called at her home to collect some belongings, during which “something happened”, but a short time later Mr X sent a text message indicating he was not going to resume the relationship.

While the judge said this may well be described as a “somewhat ungallant act”, it did not warrant or justify what Foster did next, which was to inform her new boyfriend, and later the police, that Mr X had raped her.

Foster will serve half of her three-month term in custody, and the rest on supervised licenced parole.