SCHOOLGIRL GIVEN REFERRAL ORDER FOR FALSE RAPE ALLEGATIONS

April 3, 2004

A Leamington schoolgirl who made a false rape allegation has avoided jail and been given a referral order. The 15-year-old girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, claimed she had been raped by a 16-year-old boy in the Leamington railway station toilets. The allegation led to the boy’s arrest and an extensive police investigation including a re-enactment and examination of CCTV footage. The girl was twice video interviewed and her friend with her at the time of the alleged incident also gave evidence. She continued the lie for two months until January when she admitted she had consented to sex with the boy. Phillippa Cowley, prosecuting at Leamington Magistrates Court on Monday, said: “A considerable amount of time and police resources were wasted as a result of this allegation.”In mitigation, Paul O’Keefe said the girl had a very low mental age and still could not fully comprehend the significance of her claim. Mr O’Keefe said: “She is a young lady with many difficulties and problems who does not appreciate the consequences of all this. Perhaps even after the court process she does not realise the severity of the situation. “When she admitted the lie to the police she still thought that would be the end of the matter.”When the incident occurred her friend told her to say she had been raped. But the allegation got back to her mum via a neighbour and she continued the lie to save face.”The girl was since arrested for a fight with another girl outside Leamington police station. She has also spent a week in a foster home but refused to stay. Mr O’Keefe added: “There are already concerns about her behaviour spiralling out of control. She is her own worst enemy at the moment.” The girl was given a ten-month referral order for perverting the course of justice and the threatening behaviour outside the police station. Her mother was told to pay £50 costs. Sentencing, chair of the magistrates Sally Howells warned the girl: “This is your chance to pay back to the community for what you have done.”

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