Northern Ireland woman jailed for false rape claim

By Gary Adair

A Northern Ireland woman has received a three month jail sentence for making a false claim of rape against her ex-boyfriend after he split up with her via a text message.

Natasha Foster, from Ballymena, told police in 2011 that her boyfriend had sexually attacked her, but two days later retracted the claim, confessing that she had lied. In September she pleaded guilty to the charge of perverting the course of justice and she has now been sentenced to three months in prison, with the judge at Antrim Crown Court advising her that it would have been six months if it were not for her genuine remorse and the fact that she has recently become a mother.

He did however lament the negative impact the case will have on genuine victims of domestic violence and rape, saying "every false allegation of rape increases the plight of those women who have been genuine victims of this dreadful crime." He added that the media coverage of such cases can affect the public's response to other allegations of rape.

There is also a negative effect on victims of rape and domestic abuse, and cases such as these do nothing to improve the large problem of victims of abuse and violence not approaching the police, through fear or shame. In Northern Ireland in particular it is believed that the number of domestic abuse victims that do not make a report to the police far outweigh those that do.

If you require legal advice from a criminal law solicitor in Northern Ireland contact Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast by calling 0800 840 1363.

Or for legal information or advice in respect of domestic abuse contact a specialist solicitor at 0800 840 1363.