False allegation of rape: Court

A DERVOCK woman who made a false allegation that she was raped by a man unknown to her so she could "hurt" her then boyfriend has been put on Probation for a year for wasting police time.

The Magistrates Court in Coleraine was told on Friday that 18-year-old Jacqueline McCammond, of McArthur Avenue, went to Coleraine Police Station accompanied by her boyfriend last year to make the allegation in which she said she was raped in a car in the Ballybogey area by another male.

Police immediately launched an enquiry and as well as carrying out door-to-door enquiries and interviews with McCammond, they trawled through CCTV images and also made enquiries about the Renault Laguna car she alleged the rape occurred in.

Eventually though - several weeks later - McCammond admitted to police that she made the whole thing up.

In court on Friday, McCammond admitted a charge that between August 8, 2009 and September 5, 2009, she caused 'wasteful employment of police time by making a false report that tended to show that an offence had been committed'.

A prosecution lawyer that on August 11 last year the defendant attended Coleraine Police Station with her boyfriend and she said she had been raped the previous Sunday by a male unknown to her and that the offence happened in a car in the Ballybogey area.

Police had difficulty getting in touch with her by phone and on August 16 she failed to appear at Coleraine Police Station as arranged and when contacted by officers said she had no transport.

Police gave her a lift to the station and interviewed her as a "significant" witness.

The prosecution lawyer said police did a CCTV trawl and made house-to-house enquiries and also "extensive enquiries" about the ownership of the Renault Laguna.

McCammond later made a statement which she signed but later admitted to police it was all a lie.

She told officers she had "not meant things to go as far as they did and admitted she had made her allegations up", said the prosecutor.

A defence lawyer said his client "appreciates the absolute stupidity of her actions".

At the time of the offence he said McCammond's boyfriend had "disappeared without any warning or notice" and left for five days taking with him money for heating and food before coming back.

The lawyer said his client was "extremely upset" at her boyfriend's actions and she said she informed him "to hurt him" that she had been subjected to a rape.

The defence lawyer claimed McCammond's boyfriend "forced her almost" to make a report to police and the "pressure was piled on her" and "events where snowballing out of control" before she admitted it was made up.

He said McCammond is now seven months pregnant and her boyfriend has "abandoned her for good".

District Judge Richard Wilson told McCammond: "Whatever disagreement you had with your then boyfriend when he disappeared off the scene that does not justify you wasting police time and spinning yarns that are totally and utterly untrue."

McCammond, who had a previously clear record, was put on Probation for a year.

After the case, the Times asked the PSNI if they could give any information on how much it cost police to investigate the claims.

But a PSNI spokesperson only said: "This has now been dealt with by the courts. We have no further comment to make."