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.