Cumbria

Carlisle car park rape claim woman sentenced for lying

A teenager who falsely claimed she had been raped in a car park has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Takara Harding, 18, of Carlisle, had said she was attacked by a stranger in the city's Towndyke Orchard area on 1 October last year.

Harding, of Low Meadow, pleaded guilty to wasting police time when she appeared before city magistrates.

She was given a 16-week sentence suspended for six months. Cumbria Police welcomed the sentence.

Harding was also ordered to do 100 hours of unpaid community work.

Cumbria Police said at the time of the false rape allegation, they were also investigating a report of another rape in the city, which also turned out to be untrue.

Last week, at the same court, magistrates heard how Chloe Fox, 20, of Spencer Street, Carlisle, wasted 650 hours of police time by claiming she had been dragged into an alley and raped in September 2011.

'Worry to women'

She also admitted wasting police time and was given a suspended sentence.

Det Ch Insp Lee Johnson, of Cumbria Police, said: "We conducted a large-scale investigation with teams of detectives working long hours to gather evidence and question suspects and witnesses.

"It was only when we began to uncover evidence in each case to suggest that the incidents had not in fact taken place that we began following alternative lines of enquiry.

"Giving a false crimes report to police is a rare but serious offence and the fact that these were reported to us separately, but within a short period of time, added to the scale of the investigation and the worry to young women.

"We do everything possible to protect and support victims and we will investigate any reports we receive of sexual assault thoroughly. We do not want these sentences to deter genuine victims from coming forward."

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