A 35-year-old woman in England has been jailed after making up 10 false rape claims against two men who, police found, were not in the area at the time she claimed the assaults took place.
Cathy Richardson, of Westcliff, Essex, made a series of allegations against two men between January and May 2021, according to a news release from the Essex Police.
Her allegations led to officers carrying out 60 investigations, with one of the men she accused being arrested and made to undergo forensic examination.
During the investigation, authorities discovered that CCTV, phone data, and information from automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras showed the alleged attacker was not in the area at the time Richardson alleged the assaults to have taken place.
One of the men she accused agreed to have a GPS tracking tag fitted to his ankle that would send an alarm to police if it was destroyed or taken off.
Police analyzed the data from the tag, and it showed that the man was not in the area when Richardson said the attack had taken place. The names of both men were not disclosed.
Richardson was eventually arrested on May 28, 2021, and was charged with perverting the course of justice.
Richardson admitted 10 counts at Salisbury Crown Court on May 23.
In the same court, she was sentenced Friday to five years and one month in prison.
Richardson’s actions were condemned by the Essex Police’s Detective Inspector James Holmes, who led the investigation.
He said in a statement that her claims did “a great disservice” to real victims of rape and sexual assault who need help and support.
Holmes also said that her false rape allegations have had a “huge impact” on the lives of the two men she had accused and wasted police officers’ time and resources.
“Her allegations led to a significant number of investigations which for our officers, taking up a huge number of time and resources which we would have preferred to have directed towards helping genuine victims who really do need us,” the detective inspector stated.
He continued, “I sincerely hope this case does not put off victims of rape and sexual assault, who really need our help, from reporting offenses to us. I want to reassure you that you will be believed, we will support you, and we will investigate what has happened.”