“This complaint was disgusting and disgraceful in its cynicism and dishonesty and Sandra Bainbridge has rightly been held to account for her damaging actions.
“A police officer’s integrity and reputation were questioned and he was subjected to the full rigours of a criminal enquiry. This caused him a huge amount of stress, damaged the morale of his colleagues and had a detrimental effect on his and his family’s health.
“I am pleased that the jury in this case reached the verdict they did, wholly exonerating an officer who, for 18 years, has shown himself to be a capable and diligent officer of admirable courage, morality and integrity.
“The trial extended over three days and required ten police officers to attend court, five of them to give evidence. At no time did Bainbridge take the opportunity to admit her guilt thus avoiding all the expense of a trial.
“While North Yorkshire Police will respond properly to justifiable criticism, will learn from its mistakes and will subject offenders within its ranks to criminal or disciplinary action, we will not stand idly by when our officers are subjected to malicious and damaging complaints.”
Chief Inspector Steve Breen gave the above quotes after Sandra Bainbridge, of Ripon, was found guilty and sentenced to 10 months in jail for making a false sexual assault allegation.
The person she accused? A police officer. So while it is understandable that the Chief would feel the way that he does, it is hoped that he extends the same consideration to any and all cases that come through his station, who are so accused.
Here's what happened:
On March 5th, 2009, police went to Bainbridge's home to arrest a man for violating his bail conditions. Both Bainbridge and the man met the officers with violence. They were both arrested. While in custody, she alleged that one of the officers sexually assaulted her, in front of her home.
The allegation and investigation was turned over to the Independent Police Complaints Commission, who conducted a thorough criminal investigation. It became clear however, as the inquiry progressed, that the reported incidence couldn't have happened.