A WOMAN who made ten false rape claims against two men is now doing time behind bars.
Cathy Richardson, 35, from Westcliff in 艾塞克斯, made the allegations between January and May 2021 but has now been sentenced to more than five years in prison.
One of the men who faced the false accusations wore a tag and proved he was nowhere near where the assault was said to have taken place.
艾塞克斯 警察 condemned Richardson’s actions, saying the accusations had made a “huge impact” on the men’s lives and had resulted in wasted police time and resources.
The force added her false allegations had also done a “great disservice” to real victims of sexual crimes.
Due to Richardson’s allegations, cops carried out 60 investigations, with one of the men she accused being arrested and made to undergo forensic examination.
During the investigation into Richardson’s claims, officers found that CCTV, phone data, and information from automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras showed the alleged attacker was not in the area at the time Richardson alleged the assaults to have taken place.
One of the men agreed to have a GPS tracking tag fitted to his ankle which would alert police if it was taken off or destroyed.
On various occasions, data from the tag showed the man was not in the area when Richardson said the attack had taken place.
Cops arrested Richardson on May 28, 2021 and she was later charged with perverting the course of justice.
Detective Inspector James Holmes, who led the investigation, 说: “Whenever an allegation of rape or sexual assault comes to us, our starting point is to believe the person making that claim.
“They are awful offences and have a massive impact on those who’ve experienced them, and we have specialist officers and staff who support them and investigate.
“To begin with, Cathy Richardson’s claims were no different and we carried out our enquiries with compassion and empathy.
“然而, it quickly became clear the allegations Richardson had made were not what they seemed.
‘DISSERVICE TO VICTIMS OF RAPE’
“Her claims do a great disservice to victims of rape and sexual assault who need our help and support.
“And they have had a huge impact on the lives of the two men she had accused.
“Her allegations led to a significant number of investigations which for our officers, taking up a huge number of time and resources which we would have preferred to have directed towards helping genuine victims who really do need us.
“I sincerely hope this case does not put off victims of rape and sexual assault, who really need our help, from reporting offences to us.
“I want to reassure you that you will be believed, we will support you, and we will investigate what has happened.’
A spokesman for Essex Police added that the force was “dedicated to tackling violence against women and girls in Essex”.
他们说: “We have dedicated officers across the county – whether they specialise in investigating sexual or domestic abuse, offer a uniformed respond to immediate reports of violence, or officers and staff members who are on the other end of our 999 来电.
“They work together to reassure and protect victims and bring violent perpetrators to justice.
“We know that there are some people who do not feel comfortable reporting crimes to the police, and it’s on us to gain and maintain trust.”