Belfast Telegraph

Facing jail sentence, woman who cried rape

By Michael Donnelly

A 40-year-old woman who sparked two police investigations after she slashed herself with a blade before falsely claiming she had been raped has been warned that she could face jail.

Judge Desmond Marrinan told June Plunkett that to make false allegations about any crime was serious enough, but to claim to have been raped was even more serious as it put at risk the credibility of genuine victims.

Plunkett, whose address was given as Angus Street, Antrim, was due to face trial for perverting the course of justice between September 2006 and February 2011 by falsely reporting she had been raped on September 9, 2006.

However, Michael Brady, defending, asked for the charge to be put to her again yesterday at Antrim Crown Court.

Following her guilty plea, Judge Marrinan warned Plunkett: "Let there be no doubt in your mind that this type of offence very often carries a custodial sentence."

However, he added that there may be other matters or something in her psyche, of which he knew nothing, which may form a background to her crime, and that reports may explain why she behaved in such a fashion and wasted so much police time.

Judge Marrinan said later that, fortunately, in this case no one had been arrested or forced to "languish in prison" thanks to Plunkett's allegation.

Earlier George Chesney, prosecuting, said on September 9, 2006, Plunkett claimed she was walking along Styles Way when she was attacked from behind by an armed man who forced her to the ground.

He then straddled her and "using a blade or razor blade" slashed her across the chest and abdomen, before raping her.

Although Plunkett later made a videotaped police interview, officers noticed there were inconsistencies in her story. Mr Chesney said that although a DNA sample was matched to a man, it was later accepted that he had had consensual sex with the woman before the alleged attack.

The lawyer added that no one was made amenable in 2006, which sparked a second police investigation in 2011. Plunkett's injuries were looked at again and it was concluded they were, or could have been, self-inflicted and "that this rape had not happened".

Mr Brady, for Plunkett, said that in addition to the pre-sentence report, he would be obtaining medical and psychiatric reports for the court.

Plunkett, originally from England, was released on continuing bail to return to Blackpool until her sentencing next month.

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