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False Rape Case Examples

False Rape Case Examples

If you or someone you care about has been charged with False Rape, it stands to reason that you might be curious about other False Rape cases. In particular, you might be interested in knowing what past cases were about, and how guilty parties were punished.

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If you or someone you care about has been accused of making a false allegation of rape, you are likely worried about what consequences might flow from this. False allegations of crimes – especially one as serious as rape – are treated very seriously themselves, so you could be wondering what will happen if your case goes to court and how such a crime has been dealt with by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) previously. There is no specific crime of making a false allegation of rape under English criminal law; instead, false rape case examples are charged as the criminal offences of perverting the course of justice or wasting police time. Keep reading to find out more about these offences, their possible sentencing guidelines, and where to get more advice on available defences.

What are false rape offences?

False rape offences do not mean that you as the defendant have actually committed a rape; they mean that you have falsely accused someone else of committing a rape. This means that you have accused them of such a serious offence knowing that your statement is not true. Because the criminal justice system treats rape allegations extremely seriously, and because the consequences of being accused of rape are so grave, the law can severely punish those who make false accusations, even if they claim only to have been ‘joking’ at the time.

Perverting the course of justice

Perverting the course of justice is a common law offence, which means that it is not found in any particular piece of legislation but instead is an offence created by judges. For the offence of perverting the course of justice, the prosecution must prove that the accused acted or embarked upon a course of conduct which has a tendency to, and is intended to, pervert the course of justice. ‘Perverting the course of justice’ itself means that you have somehow intentionally prevented justice from being served on yourself or another party. In other words, you have gotten in the way of a criminal investigation or obstructed the delivery of justice on someone else. This usually happens through lying to the police.

In false rape case examples, the prosecution tends to argue that the accused has perverted the course of justice by lying to the police about a particular crime happening, which directly or indirectly prevents them from spending time and resources on real cases, hence ‘justice is distorted’ in another case. It is, after all, reasonably foreseeable that if the police are investigating a serious crime like rape, they may not be able to focus on other crimes that have actually happened.

Wasting police time

A more obvious offence for false rape allegations is wasting police time, which is dealt with under section 5(2) of the Criminal Law Act 1967. This offence involves giving false information to the police in a way that causes them ‘wasteful employment’.

The CPS decides which offence – perverting the course of justice or wasting police time – to charge based on the seriousness of the false rape allegation and a number of other factors. In general, it may be more appropriate to charge the lesser offence of wasting police time if:

  • after a short period of time the defendant confesses that their allegation was false
  • the complaint did not result in an arrest, therefore the accused has not been arrested or suffered any damage to their reputation as a result of the false allegation
  • the alleged perpetrator was not named or otherwise identified
  • the complaint was not made maliciously (for example, where it was supposed to be a ‘joke’ among friends)

False rape case examples


Case Details Judgment Date Sentence Link to Transcript
Falsely accusing numerous male relatives and close acquaintances of rape over a period of years 16/10/2007 9 years’ imprisonment Court Transcript
Falsely accusing an ex-partner of assaulting his new girlfriend 11/08/2010 12 months’ suspended sentence Court Transcript
Making multiple and very serious false rape accusations 23/05/2018 4 years’ imprisonment Court Transcript
Falsely claiming physical violence and rape in elaborate story (in context of potential psychiatric problems), leading to wrongful arrest of an innocent man 18/12/2012 12 months’ imprisonment Court Transcript
Falsely accusing a doctor of rape during a medical visit to a hospital in wider context of death threats 11/02/2008 4.5 years’ imprisonment Court Transcript
False accusation of rape after consensual sexual intercourse after a night at a pub 07/10/2008 2 years’ imprisonment Court Transcript
False reports of numerous incidents of physical and sexual abuse by husband 20/09/2012 3 years and 3 months’ imprisonment Court Transcript

False rape cases defended by Stuart Miller Solicitors

The immense growth in messenger apps and social media use over the past few years has led to a huge uptick in cases of involving false rape allegations. As one of London’s leading criminal defence firms, Stuart Miller Solicitors has had extensive experience in supporting defendants in this area, and on both sides of the allegation (those accused of making such a false allegation, and those who were falsely accused of rape).

What are the sentencing guidelines for false rape offences?

The sentencing guidelines outline numerous considerations for perverting the course of justice by false rape allegation, and wasting police time by false rape allegation.

If convicted of perverting the course of justice, you could face up to a maximum of life imprisonment, depending on the seriousness of the offence. In practice, most false rape cases are not punished as harshly, but where there is significant damage to the person falsely accused, the courts have not shied away from handing down more severe sentences, which could be as long as three years’ imprisonment. Typically, the CPS recommends a minimum of four months’ imprisonment for all perverting the course of justice cases.

If convicted of wasting police time, you could face a prison sentence of up to six months and/or fined. Sometimes, to prevent cases going to court, the police may issue a fixed penalty notice for a £90 fine. If you are issued with, and you pay, a fixed penalty notice, the offence will not count as a criminal conviction, but details of the incident will remain on police records.

What are possible defences for false rape offences?

In the case of perverting the court of justice, there are a number of available defences. Typically, these involve:

  • Mistake. If you were genuinely mistaken as to the circumstances of a perceived crime and you made the rape allegation in that context, you may be able to rely on the defence of mistake. That mistake would have to be reasonable, however, so evidence should be collected to prove that the ordinary person would have made the same mistake in that situation.
  • Duress. If someone forced you to make a false rape allegation, you might be able to rely on the defence of duress. For this defence to succeed, you need to prove that you faced an imminent threat of death or serious harm through the words or actions of another person. The threat must be serious enough to be considered reasonable, and evidence may be required to support this.
  • Necessity. The defence of necessity is like duress, but it involves having to make a choice between ‘two evils’ rather than having someone force you to do something. This is often hard to prove in false rape cases, but it is worth considering nonetheless if you felt compelled to make such an allegation to avoid another (worse) situation.

For wasting police time, similar defences may be raised in addition to other general defences, such as:

  • Intoxication. If at the time you made the allegation you were so intoxicated by drink or drugs that you were unaware of what you were doing, you may be able to rely on the defence of intoxication. For this to succeed, however, you must have been involuntarily intoxicated – you can rarely, if ever, rely on this defence if you voluntarily got yourself into such a state and then wasted police time.
  • Insanity. If by virtue of some mental illness you were unaware that what you were doing was a crime, you may be able to reply on the defence of insanity. This is a tough defence to raise, however, because it means you could face being detained under the Mental Health Act of 1983.

If you are considering raising a defence to false rape offences, make sure to speak with a solicitor first so that you can get the best advice on which defence to raise, what evidence might be needed, and how best to present the defence throughout your case.

How can I get further help?

For more information on false rape offences and what it might mean for you if you’ve been accused of one, please get in touch with our team today. Our highly experienced criminal solicitors have decades of experience defending people in rape-related cases and can offer you the best advice on compiling a defence and preparing for any upcoming police interviews or trial dates. Contact us for a no-obligation consultation.

(This page was last updated on November 27, 2023.)


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