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Woman Who Cried Rape and Claimed Compensation after Sex

Senin, 15 Februari 2010

 Woman Who Cried Rape and Claimed Compensation after Sex

A woman who accused a student of rape after dragging him into a public toilet for sex was spared jail today. Bisexual Sarah-Jane Hilliard, 20, seduced Grant Bowers when the two bumped into each other during a night clubbing.

Mr Bowers, also 20, attacked the 'ridiculous' suspended jail sentence she has been given. He was arrested and thrown into a police cell after she claimed she had been attacked.

It was more than a week later that he learned he would not be charged - during which time Hilliard, who was in a relationship with a woman at the time, had already contacted the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board in the hope of claiming up to £7,500.

Similar cases typically attract jail terms of between four and 12 months. But Hilliard walked away from court with a 12-month sentence suspended for two years, despite forcing her victim to give evidence at a trial because she refused to admit perverting the course of justice.

Furious Mr Bowers - who is afraid to speak to women since the false allegations - said: 'It's absolutely ridiculous. That's not even a slap on the wrist.

'She's been let off and I still have to sneak around because there are still people after me who think I did it.'

His father Tony, 48, added he was 'dumbfounded', saying: 'My son was facing up to ten years in prison for rape on the strength of her lies. The least I expected was for her to have been given a prison sentence.

'My son cannot come and visit his parents unless it is under the cover of darkness, he's lost his flat, and we cannot even know where he is living for his own protection.

'He is the victim and he has lost his freedom yet she has still got hers.'

During the trial, prosecutor Andrew Jackson read extracts from Mr Bower's victim impact statement, which said the teenager sat crying in police custody fearing he was going to prison.

He told the court: 'This incident has changed him. He speaks of his lack of confidence approaching young women, not trusting them and having trouble sleeping.

'He was physically sick through worry, constantly teary and feeling like he wanted to cry.'

Hilliard, from Basildon, Essex, told police she bumped into Mr Bowers at a nightclub called Liquid in the town on July 26, 2008. She claimed she shared a taxi with him and a friend before stopping at the railway station to use the toilet.

The telephone sales worker, who had been drinking, said she went into a cubicle and the next thing she remembered was waking to find her underwear and trousers around her ankles.

She claimed she only realised she had been raped when Mr Bowers sent her a text message the following day in which he mentioned they had 'gone all the way'.

Mr Bowers, also from Basildon, was arrested on July 30, 2008, at his father's home and taken to a police station where he had DNA swabs taken, as well as fingerprints and mugshots. He then spent four hours in a cell before being interviewed for two hours.

Hilliard's lie began to unravel when police were unable to find CCTV footage of the pair leaving the club.

A friend of hers eventually admitted they had been at another nightclub, called Colors, and detectives trawled through more CCTV footage before discovering footage of Hilliard and Mr Bowers, who was 19 at the time, kissing and holding hands before leaving.

Eight days after the rape allegation was made, officers contacted the teenager to tell him they believed his version of events before arresting Hilliard.

She was convicted in May last year after college student Mr Bowers told a jury at Basildon Crown Court he had walked to the station with Hilliard and she pulled him into a cubicle for unprotected sex. Afterwards, she warned he had 'better be there for the baby' if she fell pregnant.

Judge Christopher Mitchell gave Hilliard the suspended sentence, ordered her to carry out 300 hours unpaid work, and pay £2,000 costs after hearing she had 'deeply personal issues' including suffering abuse from a relative.

Jacqueline Carey, defending, added since the conviction her client had been assaulted by two men, had the word 'bitch' scratched onto her car, and lost friends and her partner.

Miss Carey said she had also suffered 'extremely unpleasant' comments on Facebook, saying: 'One wished Miss Hilliard had been raped then she would understand what rape victims went through.'

Describing her client as 'hard working', she added that she had a number of 'deeply personal issues'.

'Since her conviction, her relationship with her partner has ceased and a number of friends, due to the publicity, are no longer friends with her.'

Judge Mitchell acknowledged that Hilliard had problems: 'I have come to the conclusion that the doctor is right in saying you ought not to go to prison.'

But he warned: 'This case is no precedent at all for future cases of women who make up false allegations of rape.

'You alleged that you had been raped and as a consequence of that allegation, a young man was arrested, held in custody for four hours, interviewed and subsequently bailed.

'But for six or seven days thereafter he had the concern, the worry, the fear that he was going to be charged with rape when he knew perfectly well that you had consented to the intercourse and that you, on his account, had frankly initiated it.'

The judge added: 'False allegations of rape have a terrible knock-on effect.

'When women who have actually been raped make complaints there is always the background of people like you who have made false allegations and that's why it's considered so serious.'

Last year a GP was spared jail by Judge Christopher Mitchell despite smacking female patients’ bottoms, grilling them about their sex lives, and pressing his groin against a Swedish student's arm.

Married Rajinder Aggarwal, 54, was instead ordered to pay £3,000 and do 80 hours of unpaid work. Hilliard refused to comment as she left court.

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