Walcot woman jailed after falsely accusing takeaway driver of rape
A Swindon woman has been given a 14 month prison sentence after she made a false allegation of a stranger rape.
Sophie James, 26, of Frobisher Drive, Walcot, pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice after she reported she was the victim of a rape in Swindon on August 5, 2019.
James called police stating that a takeaway driver had attended her address to deliver food but instead, he forced his way into her property and raped her.
Appearing at Swindon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, July 13, 2022, she was charged with falsely accusing someone of rape.
Magistrates said the alleged offences are “too serious for us to deal with in this court”. She was released on unconditional bail.
After seeing the case sent to Crown Court, she has now been jailed for 14 months for the crime.
Det Con Chris Hughes said: “Reports of this nature are always taken extremely seriously and officers attempted to progress with extensive enquiries immediately following the initial report due to the seriousness of the incident reported, however, James was obstructive and refused to co-operate with any requests by officers.
“Upon further enquiries, we were able to prove that James had in fact fabricated the report entirely and that the “suspect” was in fact in Bristol at the time she reported to have been raped by him.
“This type of behaviour is completely unacceptable and the impact it has on the person wrongly accused should not be underestimated – he was interviewed under caution and subject to a police investigation as part of our enquiries and this understandably caused him a significant amount of stress.
“James became embroiled in her own web of lies, and her behaviour could really impact genuine victims of rape or sexual assault who may choose not to report it to police for fear that they will not be believed.
"My message to these people is please be reassured that police take all reports of this nature extremely seriously, and we would always encourage anyone who has been a victim, regardless of how much time has passed since the offence, to come forward and report it to police.”
As well as the 14 month prison sentence, James must also pay a £149 surcharge to fund victims services.