Hampshire & Isle of Wight

False rape claim Portsmouth woman Nicola Osborne jailed

Nicola Osborne
Image caption Osborne was found in the street by passers-by in a "distressed state"

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.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard police used a "vast deployment" of manpower.

Osborne, 32, of Portsmouth, was jailed for 18 months after earlier admitting perverting the course of justice.

The hearing was told that Osborne, who had been drinking, was walking home when she began talking to a stranger in the street.

'Pregnancy fear'

She went home with him where they engaged in "extensive sexual activity", the court was told.

But it was as she walked home that the mother-of-three, from Winchester Road, became upset as she realised the potential consequences on her marriage.

Passers-by found her in a distressed state in the street and contacted police. She then told officers she had been raped.

Martin Booth, prosecuting, told the court a total 548 hours of police man hours had been used in the inquiry.

"Other investigations had to be put on the back-burner as police resources had to be diverted to this case," he said.

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.

The man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was arrested and detained for 12 hours.

His victim impact statement, which was read to the court, said he had found the arrest "very humiliating'.

"People like her make a mockery of women who have really been raped," he said.

Sentencing, Judge Roger Hetherington said Osborne had become "entangled" in her lie which had led to a "vast deployment of police manpower".

"I believe it suddenly hit you what the potential consequences were as to what you were going to be able to tell your husband about what you had been doing and a possible fear of pregnancy," he said.

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