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Woman imprisoned for retracting rape allegations is refused appeal


The Guardian reports on the shocking story of a Welsh woman jailed for “falsely retracting” allegations that she had been raped six times by her husband.

The 28 year old woman will remain in prison after being refused permission to appeal against her eight month sentence for perverting the course of justice.

The woman has said that she withdrew the rape allegations – not because they were false – but because she had been pressured and emotionally blackmailed into doing so by her estranged husband and his family.

The application for appeal was turned down by Judge John Ryan, who upheld his original decison, ending any hope for the woman and her family of bail.

Her solicitor Phil Sherrard said the case will now go to the Court of Appeal and added: “We will be pushing them to accept a bail application or deal with the issue of bail as soon as possible. If we have to wait for the appeal itself that could take up to four months, in which time she will be coming out of prison and the damage will already have been done.”

Sherrard said that his client has been “crushed” by the process that has seen her imprisoned while her children are in the care of her husband, who her family claim abused her for ten years. She is described as feeling “distraught and horrified.”

Campaigners are calling for the immediate release of the woman, from Powys in Wales, and say that the legal decision (believed to be a first) ignores the pressures placed on abused women by the perpetrators of the crimes.

The woman claims she was convinced by her husband’s family to drop the charges, as he would face a longer jail term for rape than she would for perverting the course of justice. The woman was told by the judge that she has wasted a “substantial amount” of Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) time and money.

The CPS said that all charges against the husband have been dropped and he is unlikely to face trial.

For more on this story, see the WVoN report on the launch of the woman’s appeal last week.

Addendum to this post: Readers will be interested to know that the judge who jailed this woman gave a six-month prison sentence suspended for two years to a child pornographer in 2007, citing government advice that judges should only jail “dangerous and persistent offenders”.

Read Cath Elliot’s blog for more details.

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