Friday, April 19, 2013

Two women falsely accused of making false rape claims

As reported here:

The girlfriend of a convicted rapist has been jailed after trying to clear his name by framing two of his victims with fake Facebook profiles.

Ceri Shipman, 25, was accused of “despicable conduct” as she was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison. The judge said there had never been a case like it.

Shipman, from Hull, set up the accounts and then used them to send messages purporting to be from the victims admitting they had made up the rape allegations.

One read: “Maybe I did make up the rape but he broke my heart.”

She then brought the messages to the attention of the police, claiming that they were proof her boyfriend, Jason Savage, 29, had been framed.

The false accounts were so convincing that the two women were arrested and quizzed for 13 hours before being held on bail for four months.

Judge Mark Bury, sitting at Hull Crown Court, said that there was no legal precedent for Shipman's behaviour.

"If the victims had been convicted of lying, then they would have been vilified as young women who cried rape,” he said.

“It is despicable conduct. You are the only individual that has lied. There is no precedent in a case like this and there has not been a case like this. It gives me no option but to impose an immediate custodial sentence."

Savage was jailed indefinitely in 2010 for a string of violent rapes. He was branded “cold, calculating and sadistic” by a judge.

The two victims had already endured the ordeal of giving evidence at his trial when Shipman decided to act.

She accessed their real Facebook accounts and copied pictures and profiles into the false ones to make them appear genuine. She also created fake email addresses.

In one message, the victim was alleged to have asked Shipman: “You want to know about your loser boyfriend yet?"

She replied: "I have nothing to say to you."

Another false message said: "He got what he deserved. Maybe we did lie, but there is nothing you can do about it."

Shipman retorted: "See what I mean? You lied and you just admitted it. How can you live with yourself?"

Another fictitious message said: “You should have met up with us, lied and got comp.”

The messages were sent between May and August 2010.

Police traced them back to Shipman's computer's IP address and the internet connection to her postcode, which proved that both sides of the conversations originated from the same place.

Shipman pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice.

After the hearing, Michael Waudby from the Crown Prosecution Service said that Humberside Police had liaised with Facebook and MSN in America to unravel Shipman’s lies.

He said: "It is disturbing to think that anyone could put victims of violent and sexual abuse through further torment but Ceri Shipman decided to take on the criminal justice system. She has failed and now, like her partner, finds herself having to serve a prison sentence."