Emma Riche-Webber and Zinzile Ademuni-Odeke jailed for false sexual assault claim

Emma Riche-Webber and Zinzile Ademuni-Odeke jailed for false sexual assault claim

Photo from The Mirror


There are very few prosecutions of men and women who make false allegations of sexual assault. This is mainly because out and out intentionally false allegations are very rare. Even when a deliberately false allegation is made, it’s very difficult to prove that that is the case.

On 26th July 2015, the Daily Mirror reported (in a fairly salacious and sensationalist manner) on the case of Emma Riche-Webber, the 30 year old partner of Colin Palin (56) and Zinzile Adeumuni-Odeke, a 29 year old friend. It seems that on 24th July 2015, both were sent to prison for perverting the course of justice.



Last year, Mr Palin and Ms Riche-Webber were in a relationship and had previously had a ‘threesome’ with Ms Adeumuni-Odeke. In March 2014 Ms Riche-Webber was hosting a birthday party for one of her daughters.

When that had finished and the children were in bed, Mr Palin was invited round. He came along with his dog (this fact will become relevant later). After a few glasses of wine, all three went to bed together (in the tabloid sense).

Afterwards, Mr Palin left, but forgot that his dog was still in the house. The two women refused to let him back in and called the Police, claiming that Mr Palin was harassing him. An officer came and facilitated Mr Palin’s departure with his dog (name and sex unknown).

The next day, however, an allegation of sexual assault had been made by both woman. Mr Palin was arrested and held in police custody for five hours, before being released. It’s unclear, but it seems that the allegation was that Mr Palin had re-entered the flat and then sexually assaulted Ms Adeumuni-Odeke.

Some time later, Ms Riche-Webber admitted that the account had been fabricated. She pleaded guilty to Perverting the Course of Justice. At some point, CCTV proved that part of the account had been fabricated (it’s not clear if this was before or after Ms Riche-Webber’s admission).

Ms Adeumuni-Odeke maintained her account, but was convicted by a jury after a trial



Ms Riche-Webber was sentenced to 8 months imprisonment and Ms Adeumuni-Odeke to 18.

Cases such as these almost always get a custodial sentence. We have a fact sheet on Perverting the Course of Justice, which refers to some of the guidance.

Previous cases we have looked at both gave a sentence of 20 months (and here), although those were with pleas of guilty.

It is not clear why there is the disparity between the two women. Even if Ms Riche-Webber pleaded guilty straight away, that gives a starting point of 12 months. Why is it that she had 2/3 of the sentence of Ms Adeumuni-Odeke?

We don’t know. It may be that there are other factors that we are not aware of. Certainly here the admission of falsity may be seen as extra mitigation.

As to the lengths of the sentence, although both are long, they are less than are now given out for this sort of offending. It may be that this is because the underlying offending (sexual assault rather than rape) is less serious, although this is probably not a full explanation.

It is unlikely that we will see a successful appeal against sentence, although Ms Adeumuni-Odeke may try on the basis of ‘disparity’ – the fact that her sentence was significantly longer than Ms Riche-Webber, and that that difference can’t be explained. This is a very difficult ground to run in the Court of Appeal however.


Dan is a barrister at 2 Dr. Johnson’s Buildings practising in crime.


  1. Even when an allegation can be proven to be false, the CPS may well consider that prosecution is not in the public interest. I’m not sure what the guidelines for false allegations of sexual assault are like, but those for rape and domestic are here.


    Presumably one of the factors in favour of prosecution in this case is that the original suspect, Palin, was arrested and held in custody. As I have argued on previous threads, no one has the foggiest clue how common or uncommon false allegations really are, because very few allegations result in sufficient evidence to resolve the issue one way or the other.

  2. My son was hauled out of his bed at 3 am,taken to co shop and stripped and put in white paper suit. He was terrified and SO WAS I. Street cordoned off . Coppers everywhere. Only live in small town so talk was rife. Found out off cop it was SAME girl who had reported another bloke for rape the week before!!!! All l could think of was a trial and him being found guilty and going to prison for 20 years. He is not the type to have coped inside and l would of broken my heart every day worrying about him and hating her. The day the solicitor rangto say there would be no charges and he was being let go was the happiest day of my life!!!!! Trouble is mud sticks,especially in a small town. He would onwards be referred to as the “bloke that raped that girl”. He was shouted at and confronted by people. Unable to take it he moved A LONG WAY AWAY. The first bloke she aaccused,she was found to have pictures of his nether regions on her phone etc so that was dropped and then a 3rd bloke came to light she accused but again nothing happened. When my daughter saw her and confronted her asking ” why did you say it?” her reply was an unbelievable ” dunno l was drunk”. Needless to say my daughter doled out a bit of her own justice. Lives ruined. There should be more prosecutions. She had no charges at all. Wrong, Wrong,Wrong.
    PS By the way l like the bit about the dog —– sex and name unknown.☺☺☺

    • If you would told your son you appeasing rape loosy woman to not rape and to have respect to other woman body and his body he would not end like that typical woman hater housing abuse just like Muslim women appeasing rape and slavery man trets himself like a slut because his family does not care you are the only reason you irrational freak YOUARECRAZY

  3. Unmoved by his plight most men rape at some point in the lives and nearly always get away with it. Maybe it’s poetic justice when they get hauled out of bed (big deal) for the one they say they didn’t do. My work here is done