Manchester

Stockport woman guilty of making false rape allegation

Laura Hood Image copyright Greater Manchester Police
Image caption Laura Hood will be sentenced on 1 August after being convicted of perverting the course of justice

A woman who falsely claimed she had been raped in the back of a taxi has been convicted of perverting the course of justice.

Laura Hood, 27, from Stockport, claimed cab driver Haroon Yousaf, 29, assaulted her after a night out in January 2017.

But Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court heard how the taxi's tracker device proved her account to be untrue.

Hood denied the allegation against her, adding that she was innocent because she had not knowingly lied.

The court heard how Mr Yousaf was arrested and kept in custody for 20 hours after Hood's complaint.

A second innocent man who drove a taxi with a similar registration plate spent 14 hours in custody.

Image caption The prosecution said the case was the "clearest possible example" of perverting the course of justice

Prosecutor Geoff Whelan said it was "extremely fortunate" for Mr Yousaf that his cab was fitted with the tracking device since it recorded the exact route he had taken.

Both suspects provided intimate samples as part of the investigation before they were later told no further action would be taken against them, jurors were told.

Mr Yousaf said he had "tears in my eyes" when he had to take his clothes off in front of a stranger and provide the sample.

The married father said rape was the "most disgusting thing that anyone can be accused of".

A consultant forensic psychiatrist concluded there was no medical or psychiatric explanation for Hood's belief that she had been sexually assaulted.

In court, Hood accepted there was no explanation, adding: "I wish I could explain why something so clear in my head... obviously it can't be true."

Det Con Laura Hughes, from Greater Manchester Police, said: "Hood put a completely innocent man through a dreadful ordeal."

Hood, of Onslow Road, will be sentenced on 1 August.

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