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Update: Barrow woman jailed for making false rape allegations

|News, Sexual offences

A woman has been jailed for perverting the course of justice after maliciously making multiple false allegations of sexual abuse, violence and rape against men over a period of many years.

Eleanor Williams, 22, of Barrow in Furness, was found guilty by a jury of eight counts of perverting the course of justice at Preston Crown Court on 3 January this year. She admitted another offence of perverting the course of justice at an earlier hearing. Full details of the case can be found in our press release on conviction.

Williams was today sentenced to eight and a half years in prison following a two-day hearing at Preston Crown Court.

Wendy Lloyd, Senior Crown Prosecutor with CPS North West’s rape and serious sexual offence unit, said: “This is an extremely rare case; I have certainly seen nothing like it in my 20 years of prosecuting.

“Each of Eleanor Williams’s accusations were thoroughly investigated, until it became clear they were completely untrue and made with malevolent intent.

“These men were falsely accused of the most serious sexual abuse and exploitation and in the face of overwhelming evidence it was right for us to bring a prosecution.

“I’d like to reassure victims of rape and serious sexual assault that we take allegations of sexual offending extremely seriously. There is a high bar to be met for us to prosecute a case of perverting the course of justice.

“A prosecution will only be brought in circumstances where there is clear evidence that allegations were provably false, maliciously made and that it is the public interest to do so, considering factors like mental health and vulnerability as part of that decision-making.

“I hope now Williams has been brought to justice for her actions, the men she falsely accused can begin to move on with their lives.”

Notes to editors

  • Eleanor Williams (DOB: 26/11/2000) was convicted of nine counts of perverting the course of justice:
    • She was found guilty of eight counts of perverting the course of justice at Preston Crown Court on 3 January 2023. 
    • She admitted one count of perverting the course of justice at an earlier hearing on 15 February 2022.
  • The anonymity Williams had as someone who had made a claim of sexual offences or rape was lifted at the start of the trial after the court heard legal arguments that, as the offences claimed were provably false, she was no longer eligible for the reporting restrictions. 
  • The CPS has guidance for prosecutors considering charges of making false rape or domestic abuse allegations and there is a high bar to be met. The CPS would not prosecute somebody for perverting the course of justice simply because, for instance, there may be discrepancies in the evidence, where the victim chooses not to continue to support a case, where she did not truly understand the nature of the allegation, which was reported, or where a third party had reported the rape and a victim had been coerced into supporting it. Any decision to charge must be agreed at Chief Crown Prosecutor level.

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