A woman who made ten false rape allegations against two men, sparking 60 lines of inquiry, has been jailed.
Cathy Richardson was criticized by Essex Police for perverting the course of justice, wasting their time and doing a ‘disservice’ to real victims of sex crimes.
The 35-year-old made a series of accusations against the men between January and May 2021.
These led to dozens of investigations and one man was arrested and subjected to a forensic examination.
CCTV, phone data and information from ANPR cameras later proved the alleged attacker was not in the area at the time Richardson claimed the assaults took place.
One of the men even agreed to have a GPS tracking tag fitted to his ankle, which would send an alert to the police if it was removed.
Data from the tag was analyzed and showed he was not in the area when an alleged attack happened.
Richardson was arrested and later charged with perverting the course of justice. She admitted 10 counts at Salisbury Crown Court and was jailed for five years and one month.
Detective Inspector James Holmes said: ‘When an allegation of rape or sexual assault comes to us, our starting point is to believe the person making that allegation. They are horrific offenses and have a massive impact on those who have experienced them and we have specialist and staff to support them and investigate.
To begin with, Cathy Richardson’s claims were no different, and we conducted our investigations with compassion and empathy.
“But it quickly became clear that the claims Richardson had made were not what they seemed.
“Her allegations do a great disservice to victims of rape and sexual assault who need our help and support.
‘And they have had a huge impact on the lives of the two men she had accused.
“Her allegations led to a significant number of inquiries which for our officers took up a huge amount of time and resources that we would have preferred to have directed towards helping genuine victims who really need us.
‘I sincerely hope that this case does not deter rape and sexual assault victims who really need our help from reporting offenses to us. I want to assure you that you will be believed, we will support you and we will investigate what happened.’
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