The Penalties for Making False Rape Allegations

 

He was a 36-year old corrections officer at the Alexander Maconochie Centre, and she was a NSW police administrative worker whose name cannot be disclosed.

The couple had been married for 36-years. But they ended up spending about $300,000 in legal and related costs from their separation.

The woman pleaded guilty to making false allegations of rape and domestic violence against her ex-partner after their separation and while she was with her new partner who was a serving NSW police officer.

As expected, the NSW police initially took her allegations of domestic violence and rape very seriously.

The entire ordeal left her ex-partner, the victim of false allegations, including his family with a broken family and a significant sense in injustice from the police, lawyers and justice system.

 

The Facts

Their relationship concluded in early 2014. Her ex-partner commenced court proceedings to sell the home while her mother placed a caveat on the house to prevent it being sold.

It is reported that she then made a complaint to police as a “victim” of domestic violence.

This resulted in him being arrested by police in front of his work colleagues at work.

He was arrested, charged and released on strict bail conditions which he was required to comply with throughout his court proceedings.

Subsequent to this, while he was on bail. It is reported that she had formed a relationship with a NSW police officer.

In March two thousand and fourteen, she sent two blank text messages to her new partner before ignoring his call.

She made a call to triple zero although became mute when the call was answered from the other line.

She then “knocked over a peg basket, ripped a condom packet, unbuttoned her jeans and bumped her own head. She lay on the tiled floor and waited.”

She was heard to be making noises conveying pain as the police arrived.

It is reported that she then proceeded to make a false complaint to police that her ex-partner had forced her to hit her head on a wall. She was also reported telling police that she didn’t remember how she ended up being inside her home until she later changed this version.

As police had noticed that her jeans were unbuttoned, she was referred for an assessment at the hospital, suspected of being a victim of sexual assault.

She added more bits and pieces to the story later that night when police visited her at her home.

He was visited by police who arrested and charged him for assault. He was refused bail and placed in Goulburn’s supermax prison confined to a cell for 23 hours a day (due to the fact he was a corrections officer).

Meanwhile, she added more bits and pieces to her story to police, adding at this point of the timeline that he raped her.

He was facing domestic violence assault and sexual assault charges whilst bail refused in custody.

 

The Inconsistencies in Her Evidence

Despite her claim of being raped by him, there was her DNA found on the condom wrapper while his DNA was excluded. There was no trace of his DNA on her.

Despite her claims of injuries sustained, her actual visible injuries were in fact inconsistent with her claims.

Despite telling police that a man that looked like his father had used a knife to attack her, the knife discovered at the alleged scene was similar to the collection she had at her home.

Despite telling police that his family broke into her home and stole her iPad, police who had found that iPad in his family’s home also discovered that the GPS in her car revealed that she had travelled to his family’s home.

These inconsistencies led to suspicion by the police officer investigating, prompting police to question the credibility of her claims and conducting a more thorough investigation.

 

The Sentence

She was sentenced by the Magistrate to over 3-years imprisonment with a 2-year minimum period she will be required to spend in jail before being released on parole referred to as the non-parole period.

It is reported that she didn’t react as the sentence was handed down by the ACT Magistrates Court on Thursday 17 January 2019.

Although she had no previous criminal convictions on her record, with character reference letters for court from family in support, it is reported that there really was little for her lawyer submit on in an attempt to mitigate the sentence.

 

The Impact on his Family

During the ordeal of her false allegations, his family learned to become extremely vigilant.

They started keeping diary entries and photos of their day-to-day activities.

They would notice all surveillance cameras to ensure they are noticed in their daily activities.

This was all out of fear that she would make up another false allegation against them.

The family had lost complete trust in the police, courts, and lawyers from their experiences, despite our legal system’s presumption of innocence until proven guilty principle.

It’s very difficult to successfully prosecute someone for making false allegations.

Making false allegations causes a significant loss to the community and resources. It undermines the trust in the police and criminal justice system, as it did in this case.

The case resulted in a cost of about 900-man hours and over $40,000.

The Magistrate outlined how this woman had exploited how seriously the justice system and police take domestic violence allegations. She also caused a distrust in the process, including actual victims of domestic violence.

Penalties for Making False Allegations

Section 314 Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) prohibits anyone from making a false accusation where he/she intended that it cause an investigation of an offence and knowing that the person who is accused is in fact innocent.

This is considered an interference with the administration of justice which attracts a maximum penalty of up to 7-years imprisonment.

Further to this, there is a maximum penalty of up to 1-year imprisonment and/or $1,100 fine if anyone makes a statement knowing it to be false or misleading, and where the statement made was made to a Judicial officer such as a Magistrate or Registrar of the court for the purpose of making an Apprehended Violence Order application. See. Section 49A Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 (NSW).

About Jimmy Singh

Mr. Jimmy Singh is the Principal Lawyer at Criminal Defence Lawyers Australia - Australia's Leading Criminal Defence Lawyers, Delivering Exceptional Results in all Australian Courts.

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