Gail Sherwood jailed for false rape claims


2 counts in relation to false allegations of rape and 1 count in relation to the manufactured arrest of a member of the public who she stated had been stalking her.

The CPS and Gloucestershire Constabulary worked closely together to bring this long and complex investigation to trial and successful conviction.

CPS District Crown Prosecutor Rachael Scott said: "We will continue to bring prosecutions for Attempting to Pervert the Course of Justice in cases of false allegations of rape.

"Genuine rape victims need to know that we take their complaints extremely seriously and every attempt will be made to reveal evidence to support them.

"This case was not only brought to protect the integrity of rape victims but also to demonstrate the devastating effects false allegations can have.

"Prior to making false rape allegations, Miss Sherwood caused the arrest of a totally innocent man who was driving through Stroud. This man was in police custody for nearly 24 hours. Although we cannot name him here, we thank him for assisting the prosecution in giving evidence against Miss Sherwood as the ordeal has been very traumatic for him and his family."

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Shorrock said: "We feel the sentence given to Ms Sherwood is appropriate and reflects the offences committed. Gloucestershire Constabulary take all reports of sexual assaults very seriously and following Ms Sherwood's allegations an in-depth and thorough investigation was launched.

"Ms Sherwood has wasted significant police time and resources with these false allegations but what is most upsetting is the way a false claim such as this completely undermines those people whose lives have been devastated by genuine crimes of this nature.

"We are pleased that justice has been done but most importantly we want to reassure genuine victims that each case is treated in a sensitive manner by specially trained officers.

"We work in close partnership with the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital and would like to encourage victims to report their experience to ensure they are given support and that everything possible is done to bring offenders to justice."

Notes for editors

For further information, contact CPS South West Press Office on 0117 930 1343 or 0117 930 1344

The Crown Prosecution Service is the independent authority responsible for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by the police in England and Wales. It is responsible for:

  • Advising the police and reviewing the evidence on cases for possible prosecution
  • Deciding the charge where the decision is to prosecute
  • Preparing cases for court
  • Presenting cases at court
  • The CPS incorporates RCPO.

The CPS consists of 42 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). A telephone service, CPS Direct, provides out-of-hours advice and decisions to police officers across England and Wales. The CPS employs around 8,400 people and prosecuted 1,091,250 cases with an overall conviction rate of 85.1% in 2007-2008. Further information can be found on our website:

The CPS South West Group consists of the areas Avon and Somerset, Devon and Cornwall and Gloucestershire.