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False rape claim woman jailed

Abuse lies: Michelle Rossiter

Abuse lies: Michelle Rossiter

An innocent man was held in a police cell for 11 hours after a woman made up malicious rape allegations against him.

Michelle Rossiter, 34, has now been jailed for three years after continuing in her deceit, which could have seen her victim locked up for life.

Rossiter made a series of complaints to the police between July 2010 and May 2011, alleging she was abused by the man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, for almost a year.

She went on to produce false evidence to support her story but later admitted to officers some of her claims were untrue.

Rossiter, of Kingsbarn Close, Fulwood, Preston, denied perverting the course of justice and stood trial at Preston Crown Court. She was convicted by the jury of 11 men and one woman.

Mark Humphries, deputy head of the Crown Advocate Unit for CPS North West, said: “She had the opportunity to withdraw the complaint but instead she went a step further and produced false physical evidence to support her allegations.

“She eventually admitted to falsifying some of the claims during a further police video interview some months later.

“In the meantime, an innocent man had been arrested, detained in police custody and questioned over an 11-hour period. He then had to endure the weight of allegations for a significant amount of time.

“The Crown’s case was that all of the allegations she had made were false. The jury, after carefully considering all the evidence at the trial, convicted her of perverting the course of justice.

“False allegations of rape have a devastating effect on those who have been wrongly accused, their family and friends and, potentially, their future lives.

“They also take up valuable police resources and have a detrimental effect on the public’s confidence in genuine reports of rape and sexual offences.

“The CPS and police take all allegations of rape and sexual offences extremely seriously and hope that this case will not discourage anyone from coming forward with genuine complaints to the police in the future.

“We will support victims of such offences in every way possible throughout the process.”

Police and sexual assault charities also urged genuine victims of sexual offences to come forward, assuring them their claims would be taken seriously.

Despite historically low conviction rates for rape, Valerie Wise, director of Preston Domestic Violence Service, said malicious allegations are rare.

She added: “It is very regrettable when people make false claims but we should not get this out of proportion.

“I believe 99 per cent of people who make complaints are telling the truth but it is difficult to prove.

“We mustn’t let cases like this affect how rape cases are viewed.

“The fact is rape is massively under-reported because it is difficult to report and there is such a low conviction rate.

“I would urge the public not to believe that most people are making false claims.

“I think public perception is making it harder for victims. The CPS doesn’t proceed to prosecution if they believe there is a less than 50 per cent chance of conviction – the standard is very high.”

A spokesman for Lancashire Police added: “In instances where the evidence suggests malicious allegations are made, then consideration will be given to prosecute.

“Lancashire Police would always urge all genuine victims to come forward and report any cases of sexual offences and we assure them that all reports are investigated fully.”

“She eventually admitted to falsifying some of the claims during a further police video interview some months later.

“In the meantime, an innocent man had been arrested, detained in police custody and questioned over an 11-hour period. He then had to endure the weight of allegations for a significant amount of time.

“The Crown’s case was that all of the allegations she had made were false. The jury, after carefully considering all the evidence, convicted her of perverting the course of justice.

“False allegations of rape have a devastating effect on those who have been wrongly accused, their family and friends and, potentially, their future lives.

“They also take up valuable police resources and have a detrimental effect on the public’s confidence in genuine reports of sexual offences.

“The CPS and police take all allegations of rape and sexual offences extremely seriously and hope that this case will not discourage anyone from coming forward with genuine complaints in the future.

“We will support victims of such offences in every way possible throughout the process.”

Police and sexual assault charities also urged genuine victims of sex offences to come forward, assuring them claims would be taken seriously.

Despite historically low conviction rates for rape, Valerie Wise, director of Preston Domestic Violence Service, said malicious allegations are rare.

She added: “It is very regrettable when people make false claims but we should not get this out of proportion.

“I believe 99 per cent of people who make complaints are telling the truth but it is difficult to prove. We mustn’t let cases like this affect how rape cases are viewed.

“The fact is rape is massively under-reported because it is difficult to report and there is such a low conviction rate.

“I would urge the public not to believe that most people are making false claims.”

A spokesman for Lancashire Police added: “In instances where the evidence suggests malicious allegations are made, then consideration will be given to prosecute.

“Lancashire Police would always urge all genuine victims to come forward.”

 

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