7:17am Friday 5th April 2013
POLICE launched a nine-month inquiry costing thousands of pounds after an attention-seeker falsely claimed he had been raped.
An innocent man was arrested and quizzed for two hours. He was released after seven but remained on police bail for two months before he was cleared.
Southampton Crown Court heard the man did not want his accuser, William Marshall, to be prosecuted and had forgiven him because of his Christian beliefs.
Marshall had told a relative, a qualified counsellor, that he had been raped on four occasions during a relationship with the man, who he claimed had also been violent towards him.
The relative contacted the police on Marshall’s behalf.
Prosecutor Dawn Hyland said: “The police launched a thorough investigation checking the other man’s account and his denial and they also tried to find supporting evidence.”
However, they discovered that at the time of some of the alleged abuse Marshall had been working abroad.
Because of his “nagging doubt” the relative confronted Marshall, who initially maintained he had been telling the truth. But after being warned of the potential impact on the other man and how much the police inquiry had cost, he admitted he had lied.
When the relative asked Marshall why he had done it he replied: “Dunno”.
The relative contacted the police and Marshall confirmed to them he had made up the allegations.
Ms Hyland said the victim had always denied having a sexual relationship with Marshall.
Marshall, 21, of South East Road, Sholing, Southampton, admitted attempting to pervert the course of justice and was jailed for 14 months.
Passing sentence Judge Susan Evans QC said Marshall could be grateful he had been forgiven by the other man. She accepted he was immature, had a low IQ and suffered from a mild learning difficulty but the offence was so serious only a custodial sentence would do.
In mitigation Angus Robertson said Marshall, who was of previous good characted, craved attention and tried to shock people.
He said: “He has not deliberately caused a situation for the police to become involved.
He has demonstrated a tendency to make up stories about other people because of his personal difficulties and emotional immaturity.”
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