A WOMAN who made 10 false rape claims against two men, including one who wore an ankle tag to prove his innocence, has been jailed.
Cathy Richardson, 35, from Westcliff in Essex, made the allegations between January and May 2021 but has now been sentenced to more than five years in prison.
One of the men facing the false allegations agreed to wear an ankle tag to prove to police he was not in the vicinity of the alleged attack.
Essex Police condemned Richardson’s actions, saying the allegations had had a “huge impact” on the men’s lives and resulted in a waste of police time and resources.
The force added their false allegations have also done real sex crime victims a “great disservice”.
Police officers conducted 60 investigations into Richardson’s allegations, with one of the men she had accused arrested and subjected to a forensic examination.
While investigating Richardson’s claims, officers determined 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 attacks.
One of the men agreed to put a GPS tracking tag on his ankle, which would alert police if it was taken off or destroyed.
On separate occasions, the tag’s data showed the man was not in the area when Richardson said the attack took place.
Police officers arrested Richardson on May 28, 2021 and she was later charged with perverting the course of justice.
Richardson, appearing at Salisbury Crown Court on Friday, admitted ten charges and was sentenced to five years and a month in prison.
Detective Inspector James Holmes, who led the investigation, said: “Whenever we receive an allegation of rape or sexual assault, our starting point is to believe the person making the allegation.
“They are horrific crimes and have a massive impact on those who have experienced them and we have specialized officers and staff to assist and investigate.
“At first, Cathy Richardson’s claims were no different, and we conducted our investigation with compassion and empathy.
“However, it quickly became clear that the allegations that Richardson had made were not what they appeared to be.
“SERVICE TO RATING VICTIMS”
“Your allegations do a great disservice to the victims of rape and sexual assault who need our help and support.
“And they had a tremendous impact on the lives of the two men she accused.
“Your allegations led to a significant body of investigations that consumed a tremendous amount of time and resources from our officers that we would rather have devoted to helping real victims who really need us.
“I sincerely hope that this case will not stop rape and sexual assault victims who really need our help from reporting crimes to us.
“I want to assure you that you are believed, we will support you and investigate what happened.”
A spokesman for Essex Police added that the force was “dedicated to tackling violence against women and girls in Essex”.
They said: “We have dedicated officers across the county – whether they specialize in investigating sexual or domestic abuse, offer a uniformed response to immediate reports of violence, or are officers and staff on the other end of our 999 calls.
“They work together to reassure and protect victims and bring violent criminals to justice.
“We know that there are some people who do not feel comfortable reporting crimes to the police and it is up to us to earn and keep trust.”
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6347272/woman-jailed-false-rape-accusations-two-men/ Woman jailed after TEN false rape allegations against two men – including one who wore a tag to show he was not near her