Northern Ireland

Antrim: Woman who made false rape claim warned of jail

Antrim Crown Court
Image caption The case was heard at Antrim Crown Court

A woman who falsely claimed she was raped has been warned by a judge that she could face jail.

June Plunkett, 40, whose address was given as Angus Street, Antrim, started two police investigations after she cut herself with a blade before crying rape, Antrim Crown Court was told.

A judge said false allegations about any crime was serious.

But he said a false rape claim put at risk the credibility of women who had actually been raped.

Earlier in court proceedings, a prosecution lawyer said that on 9 September 2006, Plunkett had claimed she was walking along Styles Way, Antrim, when she was attacked from behind by an armed man who forced her to the ground.

He used a blade to slash her across the chest and abdomen before raping her, she claimed.

The lawyer said that in a video-taped police interview, officers noticed there were inconsistencies in her story.

He said no-one had been made amenable in 2006 and there was a second police investigation in 2011.

At this stage, a conclusion was reached that Plunkett's wounds were, or could have been self-inflicted and that the rape had not happened.

Plunkett had been due to stand trial, accused of perverting the course of justice between September 2006 and February 2011, by falsely reporting to police that she had been raped in 2006.

However in court on Wednesday, she pleaded guilty. The judge warned that such cases often carried a custodial sentence.

He added that in this case, no-one was arrested, had had to bear the brunt of such an allegation or had been forced to languish in prison.

The judge ordered a series of reports. Plunkett, originally from England, was released on continuing bail to return to Blackpool, until her sentencing next month.