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Jail time for false accusations of rape

Rape is a very nasty and very serious matter. Which is why I have always believed that to make false accusations of this crime should be treated most seriously, in the UK a Judge thought so too.

Diane Berriman accused innocent landlord Paul Cook of raping her in his pubA woman who falsely claimed to have been raped by two different men – forcing them to spend time behind bars – has been jailed for eight months.

Diane Berriman, 31, accused innocent landlord Paul Cook, 54, of raping her in his pub last February – having previously claimed Cook had raped her in 2004.

She had also cried rape against another man named Trevor Hirst in the same year – so when the new allegations emerged suspicious police officers arrested her, and she confessed she had invented the attacks.

Sentencing Berriman at York Crown Court on September 21, Judge Paul Hoffman said: “The wider implication is that true victims of sexual crime are treated with suspicion and justice is not achieved.

“These offences are so serious only an immediate sentence of custody can be justified.”

Daily Mail

Sadly for many victims of rape the it often boils down to a case of he said she said on the matter of consent, with generally no other evidence. This also means that should someone wish to make a false claim it is relatively easy to do so. Eight months seems like a fairly light sentence though, because to my mind bearing false witness is right up there with Rape itself and should actually carry an equally harsh penalty.

Cheers Comrades

Dominique Strauss-Kahn: Rape case about to collapse

As I have suggested here at the Sandpit before there are big problems with proving any accusation of rape and the immanent  collapse of this very high profile case is a very good example of just why that is the case.

click for source

Now I have watched various feminist orientated blogs go to town about this particular incident , working on the assumption that the woman making the accusation must be a paragon of virtue and veracity, because well she is a woman and women never lie about being raped now do they?

As I tried to suggest here the problem with¬† accusations of rape is that the legal¬† bone of contention is almost always one of consent and that it becomes a “she said /he said ” dichotomy which boils down to who is more credible about what happened?

Now if it turns out that this case does collapse where does that leave Dominique Strauss-Kahn?

Buggered politically and his professional life ruined as far as I can see.

Will the legal system give him justice for an accusation that is false?

Hmm sadly I think not, the man is ruined and he will live the rest of his life under a cloud while his accuser remains anonymous…

Is that justice?

Cheers Comrades


Sabrina Johnson lied about rape: goes down for twelve months

Like that tree in the forest if no one hears the consent did it really happen? Image ©Iain Hall

¬©Regular readers of the sandpit may remember that I have written about false accusations of rape before and my general feeling remains that rape is a most difficult and problematic crime. For those who have been violated it is a very difficult crime¬† to prove to a satisfactory legal standard and to those accused it is equally difficult to defend yourself against such a ruinous accusation. I am sure that in one of the rather heated comment threads that I have advocated that before having casual consensual sex that any man should use their mobile phone to record the woman in question giving clear and unambiguous consent (but I can’t find the particular comment). So imagine my surprise when someone has actually done precisely that and not only have they managed to use that recording to prove their innocence but also to ensure that the woman who falsely accused then is convicted on a charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Sabrina Johnson, 25, performed sex acts on the three strangers she had met  while walking home from a night out, Chelmsford Crown Court in Essex heard.

The following morning when she woke up, hung over and late for work, she told her boss that she had been dragged into a park by two strangers and forced to perform oral sex on them.

Horrified workmates urged Johnson to report the attack to police, and detectives spent 311 hours investigating the alleged crime, at a cost of some £6,753.

The investigation continued until one of the men involved came forward with a voice recording that he had made on his mobile phone of Johnson consenting to the sex game.

Judge Anthony Goldstaub QC jailed the three-months pregnant supermarket worker for 12 months after she pleaded guilty to a perverting the course of justice.

He said her lies had caused fear: ‘This was an allegation of a terrifying nature. There was heightened public fear of rapists, an atmosphere of fear that was created wholly unnecessarily.’

He added that it was only thanks to the mobile phone voice recording that the men were cleared.

He added: ‘You had sexual relations with them and played some kind of sex game. One of the males, a prudent gentleman, recorded your consent on his mobile phone, including your image. But for his doing so he would have been very likely in deep trouble.’

There certainly is some very clear value to mobile phones having the facility to record sound and vision so perhaps all of the blokes out there on the pull should take heed of this story and ensure that when she says yes that you record it because like that tree in the forest if no one hears the consent did it really happen?

Cheers Comrades

Mark , justice for rape victims, and justice for the falsely accused.

One of my regular commentators, Mark L has been most vociferous in his criticism of my choosing to write about false accusations of rape on a number of occasions in this blog. Personally I find his attitude most bizarre considering that he is a teacher and that teachers as a group are often the subject of malicious allegations which are notoriously hard to disprove but more importantly even when such  unfounded allegations  are disproved they can and do leave indelible stains upon a teachers reputation. None the less he says :

I would be more concerned about one of my female students being raped, traumatised and abandoned by the police and the legal system, primarily because in the event of a false allegation I can look after myself and the system would work to protect me. As a father, I’m surprised you cannot see that.
Mark L

Now if all of the of rapes were as vicious and traumatic as the one that are keeping the Scaf brothers locked up in Goulburn Correctional Centre justice for rape victims would be oh so much easier. In that case there was no doubt that what they did was rape, there were witnesses other than the complainant, there was forensic evidence.  The prosecution had more than enough to send the scrotes to prison for a very long time (although no where near long enough in my opinion).

Serving 25 years...Mohammed Skaf.
Serving 25 years…Mohammed Skaf.

The attempted breach of Goulburn Correctional Centre’s security is the latest involving the Skaf brothers – Mohammed and Bilal.

Mohammed Skaf is serving 25 years for his role in three pack rapes involving four women in south-western Sydney in 2000. Bilal is serving 38 years for his role as the ringleader. In one attack, a 16-year-old female friend of Mohammed was lured to a Greenacre park where she was raped by Bilal and another man – who also held a gun to her head – while up to 12 others held her down.

The notorious brothers have a reputation for making trouble inside jail.

In 2002, authorities banned their mother, Baria, from visiting for two years after she was caught trying to smuggle out two letters from Bilal to his fiancee. The letters contained crude drawings of his cell’s layout and surrounding area.

About the same time the men’s father, Mustapha, was accused of offering a prison officer a bribe to be able to speak to his son on the phone.

In 2003 prison guards were horrified when they found a series of drawings by Bilal. They depicted his former girlfriend being sexually violated and executed with a machine-gun.

Such horrid and vicious sexual assaults are not however by any stretch of the imagination the majority. (and we should in many ways be thankful for that) most sexual assaults and rapes (so the statistics tell us ) are perpetrated by people known to their victims and here we come to the reason that so few cases result in successful prosecutions, there is just not enough evidence apart from the testimony of the complainant that any offence actually occurred. Even forensic evidence (such as DNA from the victim or the scene) will not be enough to secure a conviction if the accused asserts that the sexual acts were consensual. It becomes a matter of she said , he said and in a court of law we give the accused a presumption of innocence.
Our prosecutors do not automatically bring all cases before the courts because they have finite resources. There is instead a sort of legal triage that sees only those cases most likely to succeed brought in front of the beak. Cases that turn on she said , he said are not under this circumstance likely to get far and unless the complainant is insistent, many fail at the first hurdle.
Frankly I do not see how this is going to change no matter how loudly someone like myself may denounce this reality. If I make the obvious suggestions that young women should not put themselves into situations where a man may think that they are “up for it”. I have no doubt that I would be accused of “blaming the victim”. In practical terms what can we do to make any woman (or man) who is violated more able to get justice? Equally important how can we do this without abandoning the presumption of innocence for anyone accused of such a serious crime?

If anyone has any worthwhile suggestions I for one am keen to hear them but I don’t see any easy answer.

The other part of Mark’s statement that I quote above worries me even more. Only the most naive man could think that he would be able to weather the storm that would engulf his life were an accusation of a sexual nature to be maliciously¬† made against him.¬† His own opinion of another man accused or wrong doing and subsequently acquitted of the allegation most aptly demonstrates¬† that once such an allegation is made that the taint¬† will never goes away.

The court may have acquitted Howe because assault couldn’t be proven beyond reasonable doubt, but on the balance of probabilities his employer has deemed him too great a risk to re-employ, and justifiably so. Would you be happy having him transport your daughter in the back of an ambulance, Iain?

Mark L

A very similar approach exists within the teaching profession to the Ambulance service when it comes to allegations of impropriety. Up here in Queensland anyone working with children only has to be accused for their “Blue card” to be revoked and then they will find themselves virtually unemployable. A situation that does not change¬† even if the allegations are subsequently found to be groundless. I have no doubt that the reality is no different in all other states of the nation. None the less Mark seems to think that he could weather such a storm without his whole life crashing into a heap. But even if he did manage to do as he believes¬† he can, he must be incredibly naive to think that his work mates¬† would not nurse the same sort of suspicions of his suitability¬† to work with children as he himself has about Mr Howe working with vulnerable accident victims. They may well “deem” that he is “too great a risk” His career in the teaching profession may not be entirely over but it would be dead in the water.

I care very much about the teaching profession and I know that if there is one thing that our children need it is good male teachers and yet there is no profession that men are avoiding  more consistently  that teaching and this is not  because of the pay, it is because they fear being accused of sexual impropriety with a child.

I get the very strong impression that Mark thinks¬† there is a relationship¬† between the poor success rate for rape allegations in the courts and being concerned (as I have in this blog) with the issue of false accusations of rape. As i have pointed out earlier the problem in so many rape allegations is a lack of evidence in the crucial point of consent which turns on conflicting¬† accounts from the accused and the complainant. I am sure that what Mark’s objection to my pieces turns on is a desire to suggest that women do not ever lie about being raped (or that such lies are so rare as to be insignificant) Well even if such lies are as rare as Mark contends (and there is no reliable data to support his contention) we should remember that it is real people who are having their lives ruined by those malicious allegations, they are not just insignificant statistical anomalies that can be lightly dismissed¬† because they are a lesser evil than rape itself and as one blogger in a huge ocean of bloggers there is room for me to raise my voice for¬† the individuals who have suffered injustice, and I will continue to do so.

Cheers Comrades


A woman who cried rape has been jailed for four months

As I have said before we can not easily ignore instances when a woman makes a false allegation that a man has raped her. Nor should those of the Feminist faith try to pretend that such things do not happen. Clearly they do.

A woman who cried rape has been jailed for four months

Posed by model: A woman who cried rape has been jailed for four months

A woman whose false rape allegation led to the collapse of her victim‚Äôs marriage has been jailed for four months after a judge branded her ‚Äėwicked‚Äô.

Tracey Winfield, 21, claimed she had been held down in a park by her former boyfriend Richard Peacock while his friend Dean Frasier raped her.

As a result of her allegations ‚Äď delivered in a detailed, seven-page statement ‚Äď the men were arrested and held in police cells for 17 and a half hours.

The pair, both innocent, were forced to undergo medical examinations and give intimate samples before being released on bail.

Their ordeals ended only when Winfield walked into a police station in Grantham, Lincolnshire five days later and confessed the incident never took place.

Mr Frasier was so distraught over her claims he contemplated suicide, Lincoln Crown Court heard.

Jailing her yesterday, Recorder Christopher Donnellan said Winfield’s lies had damaged the chances of securing convictions in genuine rape cases.

Simon Rowe, prosecuting, said Winfield initially phoned officers to say she had been attacked in Wymondham Park, close to the centre of Grantham.

The men were arrested in the early hours of the morning and interviewed twice before eventually being released.

Mr Rowe said both suffered as a result of the lie, adding that for Mr Frasier: ‚ÄėIt was the last straw in his relationship with his wife.‚Äô

He said: ‚ÄėSuch was his concern that he spent money on taking a polygraph test to try to prove his innocence.

‚ÄėHe says Miss Winfield has ruined his life.‚Äô

My only concern is that this woman has not received a particularly substantial sentence, however a custodial of any duration is better than the pretence that such lies are of no consequence and not deserving of imprisonment that some apologists for this class of criminals would have you believe.
Cheers Comrades

My Bold

Paying for his unjustified punishment

Regular readers may remember that I have very little time for anyone who make false rape accusations. That this accusation got as far as the chap in question doing time in jail strikes me as a very good reason that we should take such fraud very seriously indeed. Deducting the cost of his time in prison does however seem to be adding insult to injury…

The father-of-two, said: “It’s the principle of the thing. They slam you in jail for three years and four months, brand you a sex attacker, leave your family to cope without you, then turn around and say sorry but demand ¬£12,500 for living expenses incurred during your time inside.

“I tried to fight against it but my solicitor says the only hope of overturning the decision would be to go all the way to the European Court of Human Rights. I would probably use up all the compensation money on legal fees if I did that.”

Warren Blackwell,Warren Blackwell, with wife Tanya, is being charged ¬£12,500 for his ‘board and lodging’ in prison despite being wrongly jailed

Mr Blackwell was jailed on the word of a woman who claims he seized her at knifepoint outside a village club early on New Year’s Day 1999, marched her down an alleyway and indecently assaulted her.

She picked him out of an identity parade and a jury found him guilty, even though there was no forensic evidence and he had no previous convictions.

His wife Tanya never doubted him and an investigation by the Criminal Cases Review Commission later discovered that his accuser had invented the story.

Not only did Mr Blackwell not commit the crime, but the crime had never taken place.

It also emerged she was a serial accuser, having fabricated at least seven other allegations of sexual and physical assault against blameless men.

Daily Mail

I just wonder what sort of penalty this fraudster has or will receive for her malicious lies? Strangely I am far from confident that she will even do the three years and four months that her victim has had to endure, but surely she should do at least that sort of time, not just for the suffering she has caused to Warren Blackwell but also for the way that she has made it harder for women who have actually been raped to be believed and to get justice in the courts.

Cheers Comrades


Wasting police time

False accusations of rape are something that the Feministas  will insist are so rare as to be of no consequence  but as I have explored at this blog previously it is a serious matter and something that can not be ignored for ideological reasons.  Now it turns out that a supposedly nasty rape reported in Sydney  was in fact entirely fictitious and that only after an exhaustive and expensive investigation by the police  has the claim been exposed as a total fabrication:

click for source

click for source

The only upside here is that no poor sod has been dragged in to be interrogated and accused of a crime that he did not commit, however the amount of time and resources that have been expended by the police would have been quite considerable, not to mention the fear an loathing felt by women in western Sydney at the thought of a gang of men out there targeting¬† lone¬† women at night should not be under estimated…

So what sort of consequences should this stupid, stupid girl face for her fabricated claims?

A bill for the cost of the wasted  police time perhaps?

A community corrections order?

A stint in one of Her Majesty’s fine hotels?

Being named and shamed?

Sadly I tend to think that she will get off Scott free and still considered a “victim” rather than as a perp

Tis the way of the world Comrades


Sending them to jail

This is a subject that I have written on before, when I expressed my outrage that the feminists and the judiciary were very keen to either downplay the frequency of false accusations or to treat far to leniently those who make such misleading claims against the innocent.

Jennifer Day: Extraordinary performance

Jennifer Day: 'Extraordinary performance'

Jennifer Day, 34, who made the false allegation against former boyfriend Andrew Saxby after a row, was told by the judge that she had undermined efforts to treat genuine rape victims fairly and sympathetically.

The court also heard that Mr Saxby was subjected to ‘degrading and upsetting’ examinations while being held by police for ten hours.

Judge Ian Graham said the investigation had wasted ¬£4,000 of taxpayers’ money and 270 police man hours.

He added: ‘The police have put great stores on providing sympathetic treatments of women who make genuine complaints of rape and you abused that.

‘You have undermined and jeopardised the efforts that are being made about the need to treat genuine victims of rape properly, fairly and sympathetically.

‘The offence is in itself a serious one, it has terrible consequences potentially and actually for the victim and wider implications for those women who have genuinely been raped.’

The fact that this woman has got real jail time should send a very clear message to those who think to do as she has done, to make false and malicious complaints about a rape that never was. I personally don’t think that two years is enough, it is far better than there being the non sanction of a suspended sentence or some sort of community service order (which is getting off in my book). As I have said before if you make a false allegation of a crime any concept of justice requires that you should receive a sentence that is equivalent to the one that the crime you falsely accused someone of committing would have received.
Still, two years jail is  an improvement and something to be lauded.
Cheers Comrades

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