Woman walks free after making false rape claims

PUBLISHED: 10:58 06 November 2007 | UPDATED: 13:01 04 May 2010

Susan Statham

Susan Statham

AN Ely woman who falsely accused her brother of raping her as a child has walked free from court. Susan Statham, 21, of New Barns Avenue, made a detailed allegation to police claiming her brother Bobby came into her bedroom, dragged her out of bed and for

AN Ely woman who falsely accused her brother of raping her as a child has walked free from court. Susan Statham, 21, of New Barns Avenue, made a detailed allegation to police claiming her brother Bobby came into her bedroom, dragged her out of bed and forced her to have sex.

But Snaresbrook Crown Court heard she had been 'pressured' to cry rape by another woman making similar allegations of child abuse.

As a result of the allegation, Mr Statham, 25, languished in a prison cell for four months and was forced to stand trial - even after his sister withdrew her statement and agreed to be a defence witness.

A jury failed to reach verdicts on the rape charge. The Crown later dropped the charge. A judge had directed not guilty verdicts in relation to the other female.

Prosecutor Jonathan Dunn told how Susan Statham first made the claims in 2005:

"Susan attended a hospital in Ely where she made a video statement stating that at the age of 13 or 14 her brother Bobby was in her room. He shook her to wake her, pulled her from the bed and had sexual intercourse. The interview took place in August 2005."

But on December 15, 2005, Statham sent a withdrawal statement to the police and to Mr Statham's solicitors.

Statham then indicated that she had been 'pressurised into telling lies' by the other woman.

This defendant was then arrested for the false allegations.

Despite the withdrawal statement, her brother's rape trial went ahead before he was eventually acquitted in February this year.

Susan Statham, admitted one charge of doing an act tending to pervert the course of public justice.

Harriet Bathurst-Norman, defending, admitted the case was "very troubling" and "particularly sad for this defendant".

Ms Bathurst-Norman added: "She's 21-years-old but appears childlike. She has had a very troubled life. Those who orchestrated this have escaped prosecution while she faces charges.

She was bullied and pressured and she was easy prey. But in spite of that, very soon after she took relatively quick action and contacted the police and solicitors and she gave evidence for the defence at Bobby's trial.

During the trial, she admitted they were false allegations under cross examination.'

She added: "What she did was wrong and could have had devastating consequences but she went some way to ensure it was put right."

Judge Judith Hughes told Statham: "This is a very serious matter. Perverting the course of justice is always taken very seriously. I shall not send you to prison, although it is a most serious matter and most people would go to prison."

Statham was sentenced to three months' jail suspended for 18 months.

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