So tell us, what does the fact that this lady may be a lesbian have to do with the crime? Why does the reporter feel the need to insert "lesbian" into the subject line? Isn't this discrimination?
By SARA SMYTH
A 42-year-old woman who falsely accused a taxi driver of raping when she didn't have enough money to pay for her fare has been jailed for 20 months.
Angela England made the allegation when her partner Jacqueline Scott left her in the car to get money from a cash machine, but did not return.
Her claim that she was driven to a nearby school and raped was disproved by CCTV footage and the taxi's tracking device.
Mold Crown Court heard the driver was later arrested in front of his colleagues while waiting in a taxi rank with other drivers.
He was forced to strip naked at a North Wales police station for an intimate and 'embarrassing' examination.
Richard English, defending, said he was an 'entirely innocent' party who was the victim of Ms England's anger towards her partner.
- So tell us, why was he forced to strip? What would being examined naked tell them about the "crime?" And was she given a rape kit?
He said the accusation was not borne out of malice towards the driver, but was an attempt to make her partner feel guilty about leaving her in the car and not returning.
Following the accusation, the driver had to endure verbal insults from customers who called him a 'rapist' and a 'bloody foreigner'.
- It is so sad that these days you are automatically guilty if you are accused of a crime.
The court heard that clients who knew about the allegations threw their money on the ground rather than handing it to the accused.
As a result of the false claims, his license was suspended and he lost about £2,000 in earnings.
Mr Philpott, prosecuting said the taxi driver was held in a police station for 18 hours.
'He could not sleep or eat during this time because of his anxiety. He was unable to work when he was released and could not face people for at least a week.'
'Fortunately his boss was very helpful and accepted what he said because he trusted him. His licence was taken away and while he was on bail he had no income and could not work as a taxi driver.'
The mother-of-two from Manchester pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice in May last year.
She said she had tried to improve herself by training as a nurse but had a history of abusive relationships which had caused her to self-harm and attempt suicide.
'She recognises the awful harm she has caused and has apologised to him by letter and through this court,' said Mr English.
Robert Philpott, prosecuting, said: 'Ms England was working at a hotel in North Wales with her then partner Jacqueline Scott.'
They finished work early and at 3.15pm joined a 60th birthday party celebration in Llandudno where they stayed until 11.10pm when they moved to the Cross Keys pub and stayed until 1am.
'The journey was uneventful until he stopped near Mochdre and said the fare would be £16. Ms English had £10 and her partner had no money,' said Mr Philpotts.
While he was keen one of the ladies should go and get money from a cash machine the result was that Scott got out of the car and walked the short distance back to their home.
About 25 minutes later Ms English appeared at their home looking dishevelled and made the allegation that she had been raped.
Mr Philpotts said: 'It is his good fortune that the taxi company have tracking devices fitted to their vehicles.”
Recorder Greg Bull QC said: 'False allegation of rape is a terrible thing which effects not only the person against whom you make the accusation but it effects the prospects of women genuinely raped from receiving justice in their case.'
'I accept in your case this allegation was made not out of malice to the taxi driver but to cause disruption to your partner. You resented the fact she had walked off.'
The starting point for a prison sentence was three years, but the judge said he reduced it to take her guilty plea into account and to reflect her psychological difficulties.
- So why is she not being forced to pay restitution to the man she accused and compensate him for all the missed work?