Was the "Woman who made false rape allegation … fined £90"?

Was the "Woman who made false rape allegation … fined £90"?

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The above headline appeared in the Manchester Evening News on 3rd February 2014. Apart from being a badly phrased story, is it accurate?

What appears to have happened is that a woman made an allegation that “two men had grabbed her and dragged into a house in Moss Side in broad daylight before being sexually attacked“. Three men were arrested but, after investigation, the police concluded that it was a ‘false account’.

So, why a £90 fine? On the face of it, it seems quite light? Generally, a false allegation of rape would amount to Perverting the Course of Justice and will result in an immediate custodial sentence, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

The answer is that there was no ‘fine’ as such. The woman was given a Fixed Penalty Notice for ‘wasting police time’ (which the bulk of the article did make clear). The reasons why this happened rather than a prosecution are not clear, but given that three men were arrested for this, she may be considered to have been fortunate that official action was not taken.

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

21 COMMENTS

  1. Beyond outrageous. I know FPNs are cheap and easy but this is about as unsuitable a case for one as you could imagine. She should have done time for this.

    • On the face of it, it’s impossible not to agree with Andrew.

      P.S. I wonder whether the researcher from Keele for whom it was beyond belief that anyone could ever wrongly be given a caution or other ‘out of court disposal’ (see previous thread on this blog on the subject) might now admit to having been wearing rather rose tinted spectacles…

  2. If the three innocent men arrested were arrested because the false allegation was made against them specifically, or if the complainant had made a false statement that one or more of these was amongst her fictitious assailants, then it outrageous that she was not charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice. Otherwise, dealing with this as a charge of wasting police time does not seem quite so outrageous to me.

    There is so much information missing from the report.

  3. When a sex offender has been given, what some consider to be, a lenient sentence we see approaches being made to the AG by lobbyists probably feminists. Will they do so in this case? Of course not

  4. Anthill and mountain. God forbid some bloke is mildly inconvenienced. If men didn’t rape there could be no ‘false allegations’ if indeed there ever are. Moutains of rapists go free, are not charged at all continue to prolificly rape women, children and other men. Lots of priests for examples. Pater pecavvi. How about Harbinder Khatkar double jeopardy. He walked free the first time should his accused have been jailed read all about it http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/10502673/Violent-rapist-jailed-after-double-jeopardy-trial.html Interesting that this went unreported on this site. Or perhaps dozens of other women could have been spared the ordeal of rape but attitudes such as those espoused by men make it easy for rapists to get off in every sense of the word

    I don’t see anyone of you men saying one word about that outrage or that 98%+ of all sexual offences in the UK and probably the entire world are committed by men. Your silence is deafening.

    • So making a false report causing 3 men to be arrested, imprisoned, have invasive samples taken, have a serious crime over their heads for months and the wasting of untold hours of police time is just worth a £90? I see, many would disagree with you.

      I fail to see what the rest of what you wrote has to do with the case at hand.

  5. L-E-S: If by some miracle you could read every word I have every written on any subject, in print, or online, in sixty-odd years on this planet you would not find a line in defence of rape or rapists, or against condign punishment for men convicted of rape. I haven’t even joked about it since, alas, schooldays – and you can work out for yourself how long ago that was.

    No: a woman should not be gaoled because a man accused of raping her is acquitted, unless, perhaps, it emerges that it could not have happened. (There was a case some years ago in the USA when the man proved that he was on a flight from California to the UK at the time of the alleged rape: boarding passes, e-tickets, stamp in his passport at Heathrow, receipt from the duty-free shop, the works. Of course he should never have been tried.)

    But this is not that case. These men were not “mildly inconvenienced”; they were arrested and held in the cells for a crime they had not committed but which if they had would be rightly punished by a long stretch. They must have reflected in terror on every miscarriage of justice there has ever been before she owned up.

    It could happen to you, L-E-S. Not in connection with rape (unless indeed as having abetted it, like the co-defendants of Mr Watkins) but in connection with other serious crime including murder which gets you – rightly – longer than rape.

    And you cannot be unaware that every case like this makes life harder for the genuine victim. Every officer concerned (male or female) will, if only subconsciously, be less ready to believe her the more cases like this they know of.

    This is not about gender. This is about malicious and dangerous lies. Anyone who tells deliberate lies to try to get someone imprisoned for something that someone has not done should expect to go down – pour encourager les autres.

    • Agree entirely with all the points you raised. Let’s also remember that those who were wrongly accused will still remain on Police records

    • Tell me why rape is the only crime where men bleat on about jailing the complainant in the event there is an acquittal or an alleged accusation of “crying rape” as a phrase you guys like to bandy around. I hear no-one baying to jail people who lie about car theft, robbery, or any other crime but rape. What I hear in effect is rapists and rape supporters attempting to send a message to victims that if you can’t prove I raped you I want you to go down for it. And in a week within a year where three women appear to have taken their own lives as a result of rape it tells you the something about justice, or lack of, for rape victims. Anthills and mountains.

      • Rape is ranked alongside murder as the most heinous of crimes and anyone accused of these offences have their lives destroyed even before the case has been settled. How you can compare car theft etc to rape is astonishing

  6. L-E-S: You have misunderstood me. Read what I said:

    “Anyone who tells deliberate lies to try to get someone imprisoned for something that someone has not done should expect to go down – pour encourager les autres.”

    I did not limit it to rape and I did not intend to.

    I limit it to a case where the accuser, A, has – by her own admission in this case as witness her accepting a caution – deliberately and maliciously attempted to get another person, V, sent down for committing an offence – sexual or not, violent or not – which A knows V has not committed.

    And I am not a rapist or a rape supporter.

      • I think that’s a NO but men don’t know what that means and I’ve no doubt you blame the feminists for that also.

  7. A Wigley, you are writing nonsense. L-E-S and I often disagree but I can’t see any comparison between rape and car theft in what she wrote. Don’t bother to explain, when you are in a hole stop digging. That’s a NO and I know what it means. Goodnight all.

  8. L-E wrote: “And in a week within a year where three women appear to have taken their lives as a result of rape…” The suicide of one rape victim is dreadful. But three in a week is appalling. I have only read of one this week. The awful case of the teenage rape victim in Scotland has, of course, recalled other past suicides.

    P.S. Out of curiosity, why have you dropped ‘sisterhood’ from your handle, L-E?

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