A young woman, who tried to blackmail a middle-aged one-night stand out of £5,000 by making a false rape claim to police, received a suspended prison sentence yesterday.
Mum-of-two Rebecca Williams, 23, did get £200 cash out of the 57 year-old man that night and he was traced by police a month later at his £1.6m home.
Luckily he had made a recording on his mobile phone, which proved the complaint was false and the investigation ended, saving the man from potentially eight years in prison.
“This is horrifically serious, as wicked a thing as someone could do,” said Judge Daniel Worsley at Blackfriars Crown Court.
“Maybe other judge’s would harden their hearts and maybe I should, I don’t know, but for the sake of the children the balance tips towards you and the sentence can be suspended.”
First-time offender Williams, of Grange Street, Derby pleaded guilty to one count of blackmail on June 21, last year at the company director’s home in Aberdeen Park, Highbury, north London.
“You demanded five thousand pounds from a stranger you had sexual intercourse with when you were in drink.
“Wickedly by threatening him that if he didn’t pay you, you’d go to the police and say you were sixteen years-old when you were picked-up in the street and taken to his home and raped.
“In fact you had met him earlier that night and gone by taxi to his home.
“You went so far as to make a 999 call to the police using a false name.
“You got two hundred pounds out of him that night while you were very drunk.
“The police took a month to trace the call and they went to arrest the victim.
“Thank goodness he had switched on his telephone during the course of this and showed the police and was immediately released.
“He says that he forgives you and you are very lucky in that respect.”
The judge estimated if the bogus complaint went to trial the man would receive eight years imprisonment on conviction.
“For such a wicked crime as this it would not be wrong to sentence you to four years in prison.
“You pleaded guilty at the last minute, days before the trial and I thought sending you to prison today was absolutely inevitable.
“You are genuinely ashamed and sorry and other things that tip the balance is the harm that it would cause your two children, to whom you are a very good mother.”
Williams has a six year-old daughter and three-month old son by two different partners, the most recent of which is starting a seven-year sentence for drug offences.
If jailed she would have lost her two-bed housing association flat and the children would be split-up and cared for by different relatives.
She received two years imprisonment, suspended for eighteen months and must complete 100 hours community service.
The judge ordered her to pay £200 compensation to the victim.
“It’s a derisory sum in the circumstances, compared to the seriousness of the offence, but there’s no reason she shouldn’t pay back the money the man lost that night.
“I have to take into account the children,” he concluded. “I say no more than that.”