South East Wales

Girl, 16, jailed at Merthyr after lying about rape

A 16-year-old girl has been jailed for falsely making a rape claim so her boyfriend would not discover she had cheated on him.

The girl, who had consensual sex with a 20-year-old man after a night out, told police that she had been abducted and attacked by three men, Merthyr Crown Court heard.

It led to all three being arrested.

The girl, who admitted perverting the course of justice, received a six-month custodial sentence.

The judge ordered the girl should not be named even though three men she accused were identified in court.

Prosecutor David Pugh said the girl had said she had been pushed up a metal ladder into an attic bedroom and attacked.

But, he said, the truth was uncovered when detectives viewed CCTV footage of her picking up the men in Merthyr Tydfil town centre and kissing one of them.

Mr Pugh said they returned to the man's parents' house and had consensual sex before the girl left and flagged down a police car, claiming she had been raped.

The girl was arrested and admitted making up the claims in June.

The man spent two months on bail before police cleared him.

Mr Pugh said: "The reason she said she gave the false account was she was scared her boyfriend would find out she cheated on him and it would lead to violence."

Alex Greenwood, defending, said the girl was "truly sorry"

"This is as serious an example of attempting to pervert the course of justice as one can imagine," he said.

"The three men were subjected to a terrifying experience in the knowledge they were entirely innocent."

'Absolutely vile crime'

He said that once she made the rape allegation, "a juggernaut was set in train" and the girl was too scared to admit she was lying.

Judge Mr Recorder Jeremy Jenkins QC sent the teenager to a young offender institution for six months.

He told the girl: "When a woman makes an allegation of rape, it has to be treated with the utmost seriousness.

"Rape is an absolutely vile crime and it's the duty of the police to investigate it thoroughly and carefully.

"False allegations of rape can have dreadful consequences to the men concerned.

"For innocent men to be confronted with an allegation like that, held in custody for 36 hours and subjected to intrusive medical examinations is a terrible experience.

"The police spent many hours and there was a substantial financial cost in investigating your wholly false allegations."

He added: "Every time somebody makes a false allegation of rape, the public has less confidence in the truth of other complaints of sexual abuse made by genuine victims."

Despite an application from the prosecution, the judge ordered the girl should not be identified publicly.

He said her age and "the long-term need for rehabilitation" meant she should be given anonymity.