Surrey

False rape accusation 'destroyed life' of Surrey man

Kate Woodhead
Image caption Woodhead made her accusation when Mr Joseph ended their 18-month relationship

A man who was falsely accused of rape by his ex-girlfriend has said it will take years to rebuild his life.

Paul Joseph said Kate Woodhead, 31, who was jailed for three years on Monday, left him with nothing when she accused him of rape at their home in Surrey.

He lost his job as an IT consultant, his home and his collection of cars.

"For me, it is as if someone's house burned down and everything they owned was in it. That is effectively what happened to me," he said.

Guildford Crown Court heard Woodhead told police Mr Joseph, 39, had drugged her before attacking her at their home near Wisley.

She then stole property worth about £23,500, including an expensive stereo and art prints, and transferred ownership of his sports car and motorcycle to her own name.

Briefcase and laptop

Mr Joseph said she had also transferred to her name the £4,000-a-month rented home.

"I walked out of the house wearing my suit when I was arrested and I never saw anything again apart from one briefcase and a work laptop," he said.

The rape investigation was dropped when officers became suspicious that Woodhead had made it up and she was charged, but by this time Mr Joseph had lost his job.

Woodhead denied charges of perverting the course of justice, theft and fraud but was found guilty by a jury.

'Never enough'

Mr Joseph said the period after his arrest was difficult mentally. He felt isolated because his former work colleagues knew of the accusations and he was worried about the outcome.

"I think three years is a good sentence but for me it is never going to be enough," said Mr Joseph, who now has another job and has moved to Kent.

"It is done - it is over and I am trying to work as hard as I can to get back to where I was.

"It is going to take a number of years, but that is pretty much all I can do."

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