A British woman who falsely accused men of rape 11 time was jailed yesterday after a court heard the extent of her crimes.
Elizabeth Jones, 22, who was described by the prosecution as a compulsive liar, was exposed when CCTV footage disproved her latest allegation against a man she simply “did not like any more.”
The Southampton Crown court heard that Jones’ history of false claims began in 2004 at the tender age of 13, Herald Sun reports.
After that, a further 10 false claims of rape were made by Jones. Between 2005 and 2007, the young woman made eight allegations, which police investigated and dismissed, but Jones was not prosecuted.
In 2009, after another false accusation against an innocent man, Jones was sentenced to a 10-month detention and training order. But it was her most recent accusation that demonstrated the lengths Jones was prepared to go to in order to persuade police she was a victim.
According to Mail Online, Jones persuaded a friend to report that she had been assaulted by a boyfriend. Later, Jones went to the police station for a medical examination and repeated the allegations her friend had reported.
As a result, Jones’ boyfriend was arrested and questioned for nine hours before he was released without charge. However, during a subsequent investigation by police, it emerged that Jones had made the claim after she had an argument with her boyfriend.
During her trial, the prosecution said Jones’ former boyfriend denied raping Jones, and that investigation of the CCTV covering the part of the house where Jones claimed to have been attacked did not support her story.
Prosecutor Jenny Rickman told the court:
“There is a history of her making false allegations of this nature and this is the 11th incident. Police had to take her allegation seriously and carried out an appropriate investigation.”
“She [Jones] was later arrested and accepted she had lied about being raped. She said she did it because she did not like him.”
For the defense, Megan Topliss told the court of Jones’ disturbed childhood and time spent in state care as mitigation.
In court, Jones admitted to attempting to pervert the course of justice and was sentenced to 16 months in jail. Handing down his sentence, Judge Derwin Hope said Jones’ crime was grave because of “the terrible emotional experience” she had her victim though and also because it struck at the heart of the criminal justice system.
Outside the court, Detective Constable Tim Blanche of Southampton’s Public Protection Department, who led the investigation, said Jones had a “complex life.”
“The man was arrested and he gave a statement. He had to live his life with people accusing him of being a rapist.
“After the previous ten false allegations, Judge Hope felt that it was the final straw. The evidence in the case was so conclusive as the CCTV images were so clear. I imagine that with the previous allegations the evidence hasn’t been there.
“We take rape allegations very seriously and those that make false claims need to face the consequences. False allegations completely undermine the work that the police have done and make it harder for genuine rape victims to come forward. We encourage all victims to come forward, but sadly Elizabeth was one of the people that was not telling the truth.”
Explaining his reaction to Jones’ sentence to reporters, her former boyfriend said he was “disappointed” and felt that the time given wasn’t long enough after what she had put him through, Mail Online notes.
Do you think Jones’ sentence was long enough, or do you think this troubled young woman should have dealt with in another way?