A MOTHER who made a false rape claim in a “pointless and stupid” attempt to save her relationship was given a four-month suspended prison sentence today.
Sally Pelling, of Heckmondwike, tore her clothes with a piece of glass and cut her own legs to make it look like she was the victim of an attack, Leeds Crown Court heard.
In the early hours of October 29 last year, the 27-year-old mother of two, of Tidswell Street, sent text messages to a friend asking for help before telling her she had been raped.
Judge Jackie Davies said: “At the time the relationship with your boyfriend was under stress and in a pointless and stupid exercise designed to return his affection to you, you made this allegation.
“On the night that the matters began you had drunk an enormous amount of alcohol.
“In the course of the night you accompanied your friend to her house and on the way back you made the complaint that we are concerned with today.
“You contacted your friend and you were saying that you had been attacked by a stranger.
“To support your allegation you ripped your clothes and inflicted injuries to your body.”
The judge said valuable police time and resources had been wasted.
Forensic examinations were carried out at a cost of just under £4,000 and mobile phone analysis cost in the region of £300, the court heard.
The judge accepted the defendant, who pleaded guilty to tending and intending to pervert the course of justice at an earlier hearing, did not initially want police to become involved.
Officers became suspicious about her story after she refused to undergo a medical examination.
A Home Office pathologist found her injuries were consistent with being self-inflicted.
Sentencing her to four months in prison, suspended for 12 months, the judge told Pelling: “You are a lucky young lady.
“I hope that this lesson will be a hard one that you have learned.”
She will also be electronically monitored for two months, subject to a curfew which prevents her from leaving home between 7pm and 7am.
Pelling, wearing a blue tracksuit top and a white shirt, wept as she left the courtroom.
She declined to comment.
The court heard Pelling, who has two previous convictions for battery and criminal damage arising out of an incident in 2005, had been drinking heavily at a Halloween party .
After walking her friend home, she sent her texts at 5.36am asking for help.
The friend phoned the defendant a number of times and, when she eventually answered, Pelling said she had been raped by a stranger who grabbed her arms and tried to kiss her.
The friend went with her mother to the rear of a dentist’s surgery in Halifax Road, Heckmondwike, where they found Pelling with bleeding legs, scratches to her arm, and a torn dress.
The court heard Pelling protested that it “didn’t matter” but was persuaded to go to the police, who launched an investigation.
Freddy Apfel, defending, said the defendant was a “vulnerable” woman who was “under great pressure at the time”.
He said: “She was having difficulties with her partner. He was leaving her frequently to go to the pub with his friends.
“She was having to cope at the time with two young children, aged three and five.
“She has a history of anxiety and panic attacks and she has foolishly in the past tried to cope by drowning her sorrows in drink.
“This was clearly a desperate, pathetic attempt to get back more attention from her partner.
“It was an attempt to save their relationship. In fact it had the opposite affect in that they have now separated.”