If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Two Cheers

Via JuliaM, this story:
A woman has been jailed for lying that she had been abducted and raped after becoming worried her husband would find out about a one night stand.

Nicola Osborne said she had been put into a car and raped in a public toilet in July, which led to the arrest of the man she had consensual sex with.
Two reasons to be cheerful with this one:

Osborne, 32, of Portsmouth, was jailed for 18 months after earlier admitting perverting the course of justice.
And secondly
The man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was arrested and detained for 12 hours.
Julia has highlighted many of these cases in recent months, giving the lie to the usual claim that false claims of rape are "very rare". Usually, the woman is let off with a caution or a community sentence, and the man is named, shamed and then later told he has been cleared, and to go away and not make a fuss.

While being cleared by a court is the end of the matter from a legal point of view, the man's life could be shattered by such a false claim. Apart from the fact that a lot of people will think 'no smoke without fire', there is the small matter of your indiscretions (even if legal) becoming a matter of public knowledge. Which of us could really stand having all our bad decisions plastered across the front page of the Daily Mail? For most men, the public humiliation of having your sex life discussed in open court and reported in the press would be devastating, even if it were officially determined that no crime had been committed.

So two cheers here: for the decision to send the woman to prison for the very serious offence of perverting the course of justice; and for the court's decision not to name the man involved.

I'm not diminishing the crime of rape, which is unspeakably nasty and is rightfully regarded as one of the worst crimes in common law. But when women use the cry of 'rape' to cover a drunken liaison which they later regret, it diminishes the crime in everyone's eyes, and the real victims are those women who are raped, and who find that people doubt them because ... well, "she probably didn't want her husband to find out".


  1. Unfortunately, the innocent victim has probably already irrevocably contributed towards the cop's DNA collection.

  2. He was already on it: "He explained that a 26-year-old man was arrested after DNA samples taken from Osborne matched those taken from him for a previous minor criminal offence."

  3. Thank God for the DNA database! Without it, this man would have been ... er ... left alone.

  4. That aquittal will count for nothing in the eyes of the Safeguarding and Vetting Agency who have openly stated that "just because you were found not guilty does not mean that you did not do it".


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