Powys Woman Freed

24 Nov 2010

The 28-year-old woman jailed for falsely retracting rape charges against her husband has been freed by the Court of Appeal in London. [23rd November 2010.]

She had been jailed by a judge at Mold Crown Court for eight months after admitting a charge of perverting the course of justice.

The Appeal Court judges ordered her to serve a community sentence with a two-year supervision order instead.

The jail sentence was overturned by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, sitting with Mr Justice Calvert-Smith and Mr Justice Griffith Williams.

Lord Judge said that perverting the course of justice included the retraction of truthful allegations or evidence.

But he added: "The difference between the culpability of the individual who instigates a false complaint against an innocent man and the complainant who retracts a truthful allegation against a guilty man will often be very marked."

He said experience had shown that withdrawal of a truthful complaint of a crime committed within a domestic environment often stemmed from pressure "sometimes direct, sometimes indirect, sometimes immensely subtle".

'Compassion'

Women who were raped by a husband or partner, whose behaviour involved "dominance, power and control over her", became "extremely vulnerable," he said.

Lord Judge said sentencing judges should "recognise and allow for the pressures in which the truthful complainant in such a relationship has been exposed".

There should be, he added, a "broad measure of compassion" for a woman who had been "victimised".

Extract taken from BBC News website