Monday, January 17, 2011
By John Garvey
Judge speaks of "nightmare" for men wrongly accused by Emma Blunden
A woman who falsely accused four men of raping her has been jailed for two years.
Twenty-one-year-old Emma Blunden, sobbed as she was led to the cells at Reading Crown Court this morning (Monday).
She initially accused a man named [name withheld] of pinning her down and raping her at Newbury’s Two Saints hostel, where both were staying at the time, on July 26 2008.
Mr [name withheld] was arrested and detectives launched a thorough investigation, the court was told, before realising that Blunden was lying to prevent a boyfriend discovering that the sex was consensual.
She was charged with perverting the course of justice but then, while on bail awaiting trial, accused three other men - [name withheld], [name withheld] and [name withheld], of gang raping her at a house in Reading on February 4 2009.
During her trial last December she continued to maintain that all four men had attacked her but was convicted by a jury of two counts of perverting the course of justice.
In mitigation Nicholas Doherty, for Blunden, said his client had been suffering from depression and appealed to Judge John Reddihough not to jail her because of her “personality defects.”
He added: “What she really needs is help...a prison sentence would exacerbate matters.”
However Judge Reddihough said: “False allegations of rape have two particularly serious consequences: firstly the person falsely accused faces the nightmare of being arrested, kept in custody for many hours facing an allegation which he fears may not be successfully refuted and which could lead to him being wrongly convicted and sentenced to a long term of imprisonment; secondly, they have a serious effect on the administration of justice in cases of rape."
“Concern is often expressed over what is said to be the low conviction rate when the dreadful crime of rape is alleged. Juries have a difficult decision to make and publicity over cases such as this only serves to increase the plight of those woman who are genuine victims of rape and makes such an offence harder to prove.”
He added: “These were two quite seperate occasions where you were making false allegations. In the first case a young man was kept in custody for 17 hours and had the allegation hanging over him for weeks. You deliberately invented that allegation against him in a misguided attempt to win back a former boyfriend."
“While on bail you made further, false allegations......it may be in that case you made the allegations because you were ashamed of your own sexual conduct in relation to these men.”
Commenting after Blunden’s conviction, Det Con Clare Larkworthy, who led the investigation into the Newbury incident, said: “False reports of rape distract officers from dealing with victims of genuine crimes."
“There was significant financial cost to both investigations and a number of police officers and civilian staff hours have been taken up by investigating these incidents. In total, four men were arrested as a direct result of Blunden’s allegations."
“This case shows that while we will carry out thorough investigation into all reported rapes we will not tolerate people making false allegations.”
Det Sgt Elton Evans, who led the investigation into the alleged incident in Reading said: “As a result of Blunden’s allegations three men were arrested and had to go through some intimate forensic checks."
“We take every single report of rape very seriously. Each report is dealt with by detectives and other specialist officers who conduct a full investigation at great public expense. The investigation of any false or malicious allegation diverts valuable resources away from genuine crimes with genuine victims. We will take action against anyone who reports a false crime and wastes police time.”
UK - Divorced fathers falsely accused of abusing their children during custody hearings are demanding a change in the law
By MARK HOWARTH
The love-tug battles are heard in private and campaigners say that vengeful ex-partners and their relatives use the cloak of secrecy to wrongly tarnish men.
Pressure group False Allegations Action Scotland is calling on ministers to make sure that those whose lies are exposed can be publicly shamed.
They are set to launch a bid to get the law altered in Scotland.
Spokesman Eamonn Kelly said: "There are doting dads who have been falsely accused of the worst kind of abuse against their own children."
"It's calculated to destroy a father's relationship with their child forever and to wreck his personal life too."
"We've noticed that when the claims are proved to be groundless, there is no investigation. The police do nothing, the courts do nothing."
"Women who make up rape allegations are charged and often jailed so why, when people make up stories of child abuse, are they allowed to get off scot-free?"
George McAuley, of the UK Men's Movement, said dads are being "shamefully mistreated by the system".
A Scottish Government spokesman said: "The introduction of a specific criminal offence in relation to false allegations of sexual abuse in child contact cases would require primary legislation and full consultation and analysis beforehand."
By Neil Hunter
A woman who repeatedly made false allegations against her husband could be jailed if she breaks a court order to stop her wasting police time.
Amanda Taylor was yesterday prohibited from contacting more than a dozen named people, including a doctor and police officers in North Yorkshire.
The 34-year-old was due to stand trial on 21 charges of perverting the course of justice, but they were dropped after two days of legal discussions.
The case collapsed after doctors were unable to agree whether Taylor was of sound enough mind to realise her claims were false.
- So, if they could not find out if she was of sound mind, why put her on a 5 year restraining order? Do you really think she'll obey it? If she has some emotional or other problems, she should be getting help.
Although a judge entered not guilty verdicts on all charges, he warned Taylor they could be held against her if she repeats her behaviour.
The five-year restraining order imposed yesterday bans her from harassing or contacting the named individuals, or from getting someone to do it for her.
Her barrister, Katherine Dunn, told Judge Howard Crowson she had also explained the implications of the order to her client’s husband, David.
Mr Taylor was named in most of his wife’s false claims made to police between March and September 2009, Teesside Crown Court heard.
Twenty untrue reports of rape, abduction, false imprisonment and assault were made against her innocent husband and other unnamed men.
Then in May last year, she made a series of false reports about her and her husband receiving a number of threatening letters.
At an earlier hearing, Miss Dunn said Taylor, accepted making all the untrue allegations, but the issue was whether she knew it was wrong.
Judge Crowson said he believed the prosecution had made the right decision and told Taylor: “I hope that it might be the case that this will never happen again."
He added: “Although it resulted in the acquittal of Amanda Taylor, it is necessary to protect people from harassment by her."
“I have read enough statements – both those prepared for the trial and other documents – which make it clear that each and every one of those people does require that type of protection.”