False rape belittles victims
News and Star/Published at 11:26, Tuesday, 01 May 2012
Cast the mind back to last autumn and the memory of menace will still be clear.
Shock and fear hung over Carlisle. People felt shame for their city, held suspicions about their neighbours, were afraid to go out at night.
The belief was that a rapist was stalking women. It was a sincerely held conviction arising from separate and apparently unrelated reports of attacks by a stranger.
Two women have now been punished for the lies that blighted Carlisle. Two women have been convicted of fabricating stories of brutal sex assaults – untruths that seriously and directly impacted on the ordinary, routine day to day activities and peace of mind of thousands of their fellow citizens.
The latest to be dealt with in court was Takara Jayne Harding, a young woman who admits now wanting to worry her boyfriend, draw attention to herself, corner him into offering pity.
Not only did she waste valuable police time and contribute to bringing a climate of terror to Carlisle’s nightlife, her actions thoughtlessly belittled all women who, having been subjected genuinely and terrifyingly to rape, struggle to face the frightening ordeal of bringing charges and giving testimony.
False rape claims carry no logic beyond shameful attention-seeking selfishness – which is no logic at all.
They deserve severe punishment from the courts and abhorrence from a cruelly mocked community.