Friday, June 24, 2011

Female law student jailed after making up rape allegation because she was ashamed of failing university

A former law student who cried rape because she was ‘too ashamed’ to tell her family she had been kicked out of university was locked up for two years yesterday.

Aisha Mather, 19, ripped her tights, overturned a coffee table and pulled down curtains in an attempt to convince police she had been attacked at knifepoint and raped in her home.

She believed this would give her an excuse to leave her course and move back in with her parents, and kept up the pretence for eight days – even after police arrested a man who matched her detailed description of the tattooed black ‘rapist’.

Three other men were questioned during a major investigation involving forensic examinations and door-to-door inquiries.

Nottingham Crown Court heard that Mather had been studying law at Nottingham Trent University but had mounting debts and spent ‘more time socialising than studying’. She was ordered to leave after failing her first-year exams.

Phillipa Ellis, defending, said Mather was ‘too ashamed to tell her parents what was going on, and made up a story to get out of Nottingham without having to incur further debt’.

Yesterday, Mather sobbed in the dock as Judge Tony Mitchell described her actions as ‘mind-boggling’.

He added: ‘You had been playing the fool at university, got yourself into debt, and wanted your parents to dig you out without having to admit the truth. Your behaviour was utterly despicable.’

Dawn Pritchard, prosecuting, said that on the night of the ‘attack’ in January Mather had been unable to pay for shopping because she had run out of money.

She rang her father and claimed she had been followed home by a man, then became hysterical, prompting her mother to take the phone and ask if she had been raped.

When Mather simply continued crying, her mother assumed she had been attacked and told her to call the police.

When officers arrived, Mather told them that the man had followed her home from the university library.

The court heard that Mather had ‘seemed visibly shocked’ when describing the incident to detectives and had consented to a medical examination.

Her account even included the name of the book she had been reading in the library.

But when officers checked with library staff and discovered that it was in storage and not available to read, they began to doubt Mather’s version of events.

Miss Pritchard said that during a second interview with police, Mather admitted she had made up the allegations because she ‘had no money, was not at university, and needed to get out of Nottingham’.

Mather, from Stevenage, Hertfordshire, admitted perverting the course of justice and was sentenced to two years in a young offenders institute.

Thanks to AfOR for the tip.