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Is two years the right sentence for a false accusation of rape?

(12 Posts)
Childrenofthestones Wed 19-Sep-12 07:17:37

Is two years the right sentence for a false accusation of rape?

www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...led-years.html

False accusations harm other women, not just the men who have to go through hell.
It just encourages more people to be cynical about future rapes, the percentage of which, that actually reach court is a national disgrace.

Will longer sentences discourage false accusations or just make people less likely to fess up once they have set things in motion?

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 19-Sep-12 10:49:43

I suppose it has to be benchmarked against similar crimes e.g. slander, wasting police time, that kind of thing, and then it has to be treated on an indvidual basis depending on previous record, seriousness of the offence, admission of guilt and so forth.

mayorquimby Wed 19-Sep-12 14:40:19

2 years seems pretty spot on for perverting the course of justice

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Thu 20-Sep-12 18:38:52

It would be enough if it was actually two years and no chance of early release.

BurlingtonBertieFromBow Thu 20-Sep-12 18:40:25

Can you get locked up for a false accusation of some other crime?

EasilyBored Thu 20-Sep-12 20:03:41

I think it's too long, and will just put women off reporting a crime because they fear that if the suspect is found innocent or it doesn't make it to court, they could be liable for prosecution. Although on the other hand, false accusations ruin lives and make it harder for everyone.

mayorquimby Fri 21-Sep-12 11:25:27

"they fear that if the suspect is found innocent or it doesn't make it to court, they could be liable for prosecution."

Is there any evidence that this is happening? The treshold for proving an allegation is false is pretty high, it's not simply a case that if you're allegation fails to reach the legal standard to gain a conviction or charge someone that it's viewed as false. It would have to be proved that the allegation was made in the knowledge that it was false or to mislead the police as to the truth of its content.
Surely it will just put women off falsely reporting rapes.

threeOrangesocksmorgan Fri 21-Sep-12 11:27:55

sounds fair to me.
when you think what the victim of their lies has gone through.

niceguy2 Fri 21-Sep-12 12:50:26

Exactly Mayorquimby.

I don't think anyone is trying to put women in prison if the defendant is found not guilty. Often all this means is that they is insufficient evidence rather than it didn't happen.

But we also need to have a strong deterrent for those who think a good way to get back at someone is to falsely claim rape.

The accused get their lives ruined. Cases take months, if not years to come to court. Often by then they've lost their jobs, friends and sometimes wives/GF's. All because someone made a false accusation.

Where this has happened and it is proven in court that they knowingly made a false accusation then personally I think two years isn't enough.

firawla Fri 21-Sep-12 13:04:59

The link is not working for me?

I don't feel too comfy with sentences being given for this as how will they define falsley accused - if they find the man not guilty, or drop the case it still could mean he is guilty but not enough evidence, it's difficult to know..

If there is real hard evidence 100% that it has been made up maliciously then I suppose so, but the thought of genuine victims first not being believed and then further to kick them while they are down, chuck them in jail for 2 years - just puts me off the idea.

I have heard of this before that women have been put in prison like this after retracting their statements, but does not mean they made it up, especially in cases where the perpetrator is a close relative, husband or partner, sometimes people can be easily persuaded or manipulated to drop the case. they are already in a vulnerable position. The threat of going to prison like this may just make people scared of reporting it in the first place.

mayorquimby Fri 21-Sep-12 13:16:50

"I don't feel too comfy with sentences being given for this as how will they define falsley accused "

in the same way they do for all perjury or perverting the course of justice cases. It wuld have to be proved to the criminal standard that the person made a statement or accusation to the police in the knowledge that it was false and with the intention of misleading the police or courts as to the truth of the statements content.

"I have heard of this before that women have been put in prison like this after retracting their statements,"

I have heard of one high profile case like this before where the woman got 8 months in the following case
www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/8115496/Woman-who-accused-husband-of-rape-jailed-for-falsely-retracting-the-claims.html
-and discussed here on MN-
www.mumsnet.com/Talk/in_the_news/1078392-FFS-Woman-jailed-for-8mths-after-retracting-rape-accusation

In that case it was not a case of being jailed for retracting the statement, the woman was jailed as she made a deliberately contradictory statement to the police because they intended to pursue the charge of rape even though she had retracted her statement. As such she was not jailed for retracting her statement she was jailed for knowingly making a false statement to the police with the intention of perverting the course of justice.

Now while you and I may feel the wrong decision was reached in such a case (I certainly do), what I can say is that I have seen no evidence of women being routinely charged in circumstances where either they have retracted their statement having made the initial statement in good faith (it has certainly happened where they have attempted to retract what was later proved to be a knowingly false statement) or a woman being charged where the man was found to be not guilty or the evidence supporting her claim was held not to have met the criminal standard, this would be very unlikely to happen as if it has made it to court then the courts have essentially accepted that there is a prima facie case to be answered and as such have already accepted in large that the statement has been made in good faith.

BegoniaBampot Sat 22-Sep-12 00:03:44

This is difficult. I've always wondered how they 'proove' false allegations.

think there was a case recently where a young woman made a report of rape, I think because she was hiding something or regretted sex or something. She never accused anyone but the police came up with a suspect who then obviously suffered until he was cleared. Think she might have been jailed though in this case it was more wasting police time and she wasn't being malicious. It is just getting so complicated and I think public opinion is souring a litle on rape where many seem to believe that there are loads of false accusations and this is being seen by some to mean that because so many cases don't get to court or don't get a guilty verdict that there are loads of women falsely screaming rape. It's very worrying.

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