|Bogus Emails: Rumbelow|
A young mum, who tried to a frame a fellow student she once accused of molesting her by sending herself abusive and threatening emails with his username during a: "sustained, extended campaign," was jailed for eleven months today.
A police helicopter was even scrambled and on two occasions police dog units searched the area around 26 year-old mother-of-four Leighanne Rumbelow's home in the hunt for the non-existent stalker.
The victim, Leonard Smith, 21, - a student at Bromley College - was arrested three times, had his family home searched, electronic equipment seized and spent a total of thirty-five hours in police custody.
Rumbelow, of Foxborough Gardens, Brockley, who initially blamed her sister for sending the emails, pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice between April 4 and June 2, last year.
Woolwich Crown Court heard Rumbelow, using Mr. Smith's gaming username 'Striker', sent herself emails which read: "You'll have to watch your back. I know where your daughters are.
"Your life is over and so are your kids. I know you are home. I'll get you, your husband won't mind, you're a slut.
"Your husband is next. We'll get him when he's walking home.
"I can see you shutting your curtains. Goodnight, sleep well."
Prosecutor Mr. Neil Ross told the court: "There was a persistent and deliberate series of false allegations against Mr. Smith that led to his arrest, the seizure of property and considerable use of his time and resources.
In 2011 Rumbelow accused Mr. Smith of touching her sexually, but the police did not pursue her complaint and early last year he tried to contact her via Facebook to: "clear the air."
"As a result she went to the police and said she was being harassed and Mr. Smith was given a warning," explained Mr. Ross
Rumbelow persisted and began writing herself abusive and threatening emails from 'Striker,' and told police she wanted Mr. Smith arrested.
On April 6 Mr. Smith was arrested in the early hours and later released, but found himself in police custody again on April 7 - this time for twenty hours - when officers again attended his address in the middle of the night.
On April 10, 14 and 22 Rumbelow repeated her lies, telling officers from the Crofton Park Safer Neighbourhoods Team that she spotted Smith in her garden, from where he emailed further threats.
"This time a police helicopter and dog unit were used to search the estate while Mr. Smith was at home with his parents."
On May 31 Rumbelow told police she received another email from Mr. Smith which read: "I see you are cheating on me again. I'm going to slit your throat you dirty little slag."
"Phone the police and I swear you'll get it," read another email, resulting in Mr. White spending another five hours in police custody.
Police eventually became suspicious and the IP address of the 'Striker' emails was traced to the home Rumbelow shared with her mother and sister, who herself has a conviction for sending harassing emails.
"The defendant blamed her sister and that was repeated in her defence case statement to the court."
Rumbelow gave birth to her fourth child three month ago and her three older children are all guardians of her ex-partner's parents.
Mr. Smith said in a statement: "The whole ordeal was very distressing."
Emma Stuart Smith, defending, told the court: "She's vulnerable due to her emotional and mental health condition. She realises she was selfish in her actions."
Judge Alan Saggerson announced: "This is an offence of great severity and gravity. The offence brought with it a high level of harm.
"The public confidence in the entire criminal justice system in undermined when allegations are fabricated against innocent people and resources are wasted making enquiries, using helicopters and dog units and wasting police man hours.
"Not only was an innocent man arrested three times during your extended sequence of lies, spending thirty-five hours in custody, but you also caused suspicion to fall on other innocent people, including his mother and sister and their property was searched.
"Suspicion also fell on your own mother and sister, particularly your sister, who you continued to blame.
"This was not a single, isolated allegation, but a sustained, extended campaign in creating these false emails.
"They were repeated messages that you fabricated to to sustain your fictitious claims and must have involved significant thought and planning on your part."