Wales

Wife jailed for 'false retraction' of rape to appeal

Scales of justice
Image caption The CPS said it had no option but to charge the woman and that sentencing matters were an issue for the court

A woman jailed for repeatedly making and then dropping rape charges against her husband is to appeal against her conviction.

The wife, from Powys, was jailed at Mold Crown Court for admitting she had perverted the course of justice.

But she was cleared of making a false allegation of rape.

The Crown Prosecution Service has described the case as "extremely unusual in that the complainant actively worked to derail the trial".

Her solicitor, Phil Sherrard, told the BBC Wales news website that an appeal against her eight-month sentence has been lodged. His client has also applied to be released on bail.

'Unhappy'

Meanwhile, Dyfed-Powys Police has said it has dropped the charges of rape against the woman's husband.

Montgomeryshire MP Glyn Davies has called for the woman to be released, saying he was "unhappy" about her sentence.

Earlier this week The End Violence Against Women Coalition said the verdict sent out a "chilling message" to rape victims.

And the charity Rape Crisis said they were "outraged" a woman was being criminalised for choosing not to pursue her case.

Dyfed-Powys Police decided to investigate her for perverting the course of justice after she changed her mind several times during a rape inquiry.

During last week's hearing, prosecutor Simon Parry said she had made a 999 call in November 2009 claiming she had been raped six times by her husband.

But in January 2010 she said she wanted to drop the charges - although she still maintained they were true.

Detectives said they would continue with the prosecution and by 11 February the woman altered her statement once more, this time saying the original allegations were false.

Phil Sherrard said it was at this time that proceedings against her husband were dropped.

When the woman was arrested and charged with perverting the course of justice, she said the rape allegations were true and the original retraction was false.

She told police her husband's relatives had convinced her to drop the charges.

Substantial resources

A spokesman for the CPS at Dyfed-Powys told BBC Wales: "This case was extremely unusual in that the complainant actively worked to derail the trial, by first telling police she had made up her original evidence, and then changing her story again and saying it had been true.

"It was impossible to proceed with the case against her husband in these circumstances, and it was felt that the difficult decision to charge the complainant with perverting the course of justice was justified, particularly as substantial resources were used to investigate and prosecute the alleged rape and to provide support to the complainant.

"Having taken the decision to charge the complainant, sentencing matters are an issue for the court.

"Given the ongoing legal issues surrounding the case, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further at this stage."

He added that they were acutely aware of the difficulties faced by victims in reporting rape and worked hard to support complainants in giving their best evidence at trial.

Mr Sherrard, who is hoping to argue for her release at Mold Crown Court on Friday, said: "I've never known a case like this and we can't find any case law on it.

"We entered a not guilty plea on the false allegation of rape, which had been accepted.

"In other words, the Crown accepted they fully believed her claim of rape.

"This is a woman with no resources who is not familiar with the prison system."

Meanwhile, Glyn Davies MP, who described the decision as "strange".

He told BBC Wales: "I find it quite difficult to understand how this has happened and I feel pretty unhappy about it.

"It has been heard by a judge and gone through the legal system and I don't have all the information so I cannot criticise the decision.

"But I would like to see this woman released on appeal."

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