A compulsive liar made almost a dozen false claims that she was raped in nearly a decade after making her first complaint at the age of 13, a court has heard.
Elizabeth Jones, 22, admitted she lied about the latest rape allegation because she "did not like" the man she accused of attacking her. Her latest victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was arrested and questioned for nine hours before being released without charge. After a judge jailed her for 16 months, it emerged today that she made her first complaint in 2004 aged just 13 before alleging other men had attacked her over the next nine years.
In 2009 she was given a ten month detention and training order for a similar offence. Between 2005 and 2007 she had made eight other allegations, which police investigated, but she was never charged. In the latest incident, Hampshire Police launched an investigation after Jones, from Southampton, Hants, urged an unidentified friend to report she had been assaulted. She later went to the police station for a medical examination and repeated the false allegation.
Jennie Rickman, prosecuting, told the court that a man was arrested but he denied the rape allegation. Detectives later viewed part of the house in which Jones claimed to have been attacked, which did not support her story as it showed she was not forcibly taken there. "There is a history of her making false allegations of this nature and this is the 11th incident,” she said.
"Police had to take her allegation seriously and carried out an appropriate investigation. She was later arrested and accepted she had lied about being raped - she said she did it because she did not like him." Jones admitted one count of attempting to pervert the course of justice. Jailing her for 16 months, Judge Derwin Hope said her offences had caused a "terrible emotional experience" to her alledged attacker.
But he also said it struck at the heart of the criminal justice system. The defender said her client had endured a disturbed childhood and had been left traumatised after being taken into care. Jones immediately accepted she had lied when approached by the police and pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity, she added.
Jones had been in "intimate" contact with the latest man she accused but they didn't live together. The pair had an argument and Jones was upset, so decided to make her eleventh fabricated allegation of rape. "The man was arrested and he gave a statement - he had to live his life with people accusing him of being a rapist. He became incredibly stressed and when he heard she got 16 months, he was disappointed and felt that the time wasn't long enough, after what she put him through. After the previous ten false allegations, Judge Hope felt that it was the final straw and had no choice but to sentence her to 16 months in prison."
The investigator added: "The evidence in the case was conclusive. I imagine that with the previous allegations the evidence hasn't been there." The officer said false allegations of sexual offences will not be tolerated. He continued: "We take rape allegations very seriously and those that make false claims need to face the consequences. "False allegations completely undermine the work that the police have done and make it harder for genuine rape victims to come forward. We encourage all victims to come forward, but sadly Elizabeth was one of the people that was not telling the truth."