Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Woman jailed after twice falsely accusing ex-boyfriend of rape

A WOMAN who twice falsely cried rape against an ex-boyfriend has been jailed for 20 months.

Beverley Brandreth, 20, first lied that he had raped her in February 2010 when she said she was pregnant and it caused her to lose her baby.

That allegation fell apart when it was discovered she was not pregnant at the time but prosecutors advised that no charge be brought against her.

Last November she made a second claim to police that he had dragged her into woods where she was beaten unconscious and raped, and he threatened to kill her if she reported the matter.

Her lies were unmasked again when the victim later proved he was in a DVD store with his new girlfriend when Brandreth claimed he attacked her.

The man she accused was arrested on both occasions and spent a total of 30 hours in custody, Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court heard.

He remained on bail for more than two months over the latest alleged offence before Brandreth, of Altrincham Road, Sharston, was arrested herself in January.

The defendant made no comment and only admitted not telling the truth when she entered a guilty plea in August to attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Sentencing her, Judge Bernard Lever said that "mercifully" the accused man had been able to prove his innocence but he told Brandreth she "did not know that at the time you made this outrageous allegation against him".

Maria Brannan, prosecuting, said the defendant's brother called 999 just before midnight on November 3 to report the rape after she had tearfully returned home and told her new boyfriend of her purported ordeal several hours earlier.

She later pointed out the so-called scene of crime en route to being taken to hospital by ambulance after she complained of feeling dizzy.

The alleged perpetrator was arrested at his home address in the early hours of the following day and taken to Swinton police station where samples were taken from him. He was held in custody for a total of 18 hours before he was released on bail.

He told detectives that he had gone out for a meal with his new girlfriend on the night in question and had later called at a Blockbuster store with her to rent a DVD.

This was later confirmed by CCTV footage from the shop.

Seven days later after Brandreth made the initial claim she repeated the allegation in a police video interview, said Miss Brannan.

She described that she was walking home after an evening out, heard a car and was then grabbed by the hair and pulled into a wooded area.

Brandreth went on to say that she blacked out before she regained consciousness and recalled being told he would kill her and "she deserved this for going to the police previously".

Miss Brannan said the same man had spent 12 hours in custody over the 2010 complaint before the truth came out and the Crown Prosecution Service eventually recommended she should not face prosecution.

The prosecutor said: "There were various discrepancies in Miss Brandreth's account and it was found she had never been pregnant."

In a victim impact statement, the accused man - who was in court today - said being called a rapist had had a "massive impact on his life".

Miss Brannan said: "He is genuinely worried about going out and talking to a new female...he is scared about this happening again.

"He makes the point that other people heard the allegations and of him being in custody, and he had to explain to them."

In mitigation, Rebecca Tanner, defending, said: "She is fully appreciative of the position she finds herself in recognising the lies she told on November 3 and that it has had an catastrophic impact on (the victim).

"She is thoroughly ashamed of herself as she ought to be. She recognises that he must have gone through hell. There is real remorse on her part, a genuine recognition that this was truly an abhorrent crime.

"She is a complicated young woman, someone who has complex needs and a complex psychological profile.

"That does not excuse her behaviour in any way.

"She accepts that she deserves a custodial sentence."

Judge Lever told her: "You have caused vast distress to the victim and also cost £5,500 of taxpayers' money on totally unnecessary tests performed on you.

"I have read the reports that you are a vulnerable young woman with psychological difficulties and a borderline personality disorder."

Brandreth will be released from prison after 10 months and will serve the rest of her sentence on licence.

The court was told the victim was in a relationship with Brandreth for "a few months" until February 2010.

Detective Constable Chris Aunins, of Trafford CID, said: "Greater Manchester Police would encourage anyone who has been a victim of rape or any sort of sexual abuse to come forward. We treat every allegation seriously and will investigate thoroughly and without prejudice.

"We work extremely closely with the St Marys Sexual Assault Referral Centre and have specially trained officers who give a tremendous amount of time and support to anyone who has been a victim of rape.

"The support we gave to Brandreth shows just how seriously we take any allegation and I want to stress that in publicising this case, we want anyone who has been a genuine victim to speak to us because we can help not only you, but also put your attacker behind bars.

"However, we must also treat lying to the police about such an awful crime equally seriously. Unfortunately, false allegations make a mockery of the experiences suffered by genuine victims.

"In investigating this false claim, officers wasted countless hours interviewing witnesses and on paperwork when they could have been dealing with a genuine emergency, spent needless amounts of money obtaining forensic samples and created unwarranted upset and anxiety in the local community after issuing a media appeal.

"Not only that, but the man she alleged was responsible had to spend time in a custody cell, wrongly accused of an offence he did not commit. Unfairly, he has been put through a tremendous amount of stress when he is completely innocent."

Brandreth claimed the woodland attack happened off Cecil Avenue in Sale.