A woman who falsely accused a man of rape in an “act of revenge” after he rebuffed her advances has been jailed.
Susan Stewart wept in the dock and cried out for her children as she was sentenced to 14 months behind bars for lying to police officers.
She accused a man of sexually assaulting her following a night out but the story was a pack of lies, concocted after he told her he was more interested in dating her cousin, Aberdeen Sheriff Court was told.
When Stewart, 35, found out he’d been to visit her relative she sent him a text saying “well, we will see what the police have to say” before making the false rape claims.
The court previously heard how Stewart contacted police on January 18 2019 and told them the man had raped her in Fraserburgh just over a month earlier.
Claimed that he ‘duped her’ into going home with him
Fiscal depute Dylan Middleton said: “She stated she had met him by chance within a licensed premise in Fraserburgh and that he had pestered her by repeatedly trying to buy her drinks, attempting to dance with her and attempting to exchange telephone numbers with her so that they could arrange a future date.
“She stated that he eventually persuaded her to walk with him to his house where he told her there was an ongoing party.
“She alleged that he duped her into attending his home address and that when she got there she realised that there was no party.
“The accused reported that he raped her there.”
Police instigated a high-priority sexual offences enquiry and Stewart confirmed to them her statement was accurate.
Man said it was ‘act of revenge’
Police cautioned and arrested the man on January 22 2019 and he immediately “pleaded with officers” to look at his phone, which revealed various messages between the two.
The man “protested his innocence” from the outset and said the allegation was a “complete fabrication” by the Stewart as an “act of revenge” after she found out that he had been trying to arrange a date with her cousin.
The content of the messages suggested Stewart had been “actively pursuing” a relationship with the man at the time however they also showed there was a row on the same day she made the rape allegation.
He showed interest in her cousin
“The accused discovered the man had been to visit her cousin,” the fiscal said.
“When the accused told him to stop contacting her cousin and he refused to do so she sent him a message which read ‘well, we will see what the police have to say’.
“She attended at the police station a few hours later and reported the rape.”
Stewart admitted a charge of wasting police time.
Following background reports Stewart, of Ward Road, Rosehearty, returned to the dock for sentencing.
‘She felt she had been hard done by’
Defence agent Stuart Flowerdew said Stewart, a first offender, was a “very vulnerable individual” who “did not have an easy upbringing”.
He said she had come out of a relationship “in circumstances she hadn’t been prepared for” not long before she made the allegations and was still “emotionally coming out of that relationship” at the time.
“She had felt she was in a relationship with this individual,” he said. “She found that not to be the case because his Facebook correspondence began to feature less about them meeting and more about the complainer trying to forge an introduction to her substantially younger cousin.
“When she realised she was being used towards an introduction she took it very badly. She felt she was being hard done by.”
He added that it was “perhaps fortunate” her victim had copies of their messages on his phone to show police and help him avoid spending a length of time under investigation.
Wept in dock and cried for children
Sheriff Graham Buchanan told her: “This is a very serious matter indeed.
“To make an allegation of this kind is an extremely nasty thing to do,
“Where people make false allegations like this it makes it more difficult to prove genuine cases of rape.
“In the whole circumstance here I am in no doubt that the only appropriate sentence is a sentence of imprisonment.”
As he handed her a 14-month jail term, Steward wailed “no” in the dock and cried “I can’t go down … my bairns”.
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