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Woman who lied about being raped sentenced

A woman who sparked a rape investigation after claiming to have been attacked by two men has been sentenced. Sarah Wood, of Romford Close, Oldham, admitted perverting the course of justice at an earlier hearing.

Today, Friday 26 March 2010, she was given a 12-month sentence, suspended for 12-months at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court.

Shortly after 2am on 7 March 2009, Wood contacted police stating two men had raped her near Emmott Way a short time earlier as she walked home following a night out in Oldham.

When GMP receives a report of rape a team of highly trained detectives are sent to investigate. The victim receives support from specially trained officers who offer help and assistance through the entire criminal investigation and beyond.

The victim is also offered the specialist services offered at St Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre, Rape Crisis, Survivors Trust, the Victim Support and Witness Service and Manchester Action on Street Health (M.A.S.H).

Wood however maintained her account during both a video interview with Police officers and a subsequent attendance at St Mary’s Hospital, utilising both their medical and counselling services.

The subsequent investigation disproved her account of what happened. She continued to lie to police and only admitted the offence following legal advice.

Detective Sergeant Jason Byrne, from the Sexual Offences Unit at Oldham, said: “Wood repeatedly lied to police, prompting a full and thorough investigation at considerable expense.

“A number of officers spent many hours on this investigation when they could have been better served out in our communities and she has also wasted valuable resources at St Mary’s.

“To lie about something as serious as being raped really undermines the awful experiences of genuine victims.

“I want to stress that we treat all reports of rape extremely seriously and I would hope Wood’s foolish and reckless actions do not discourage genuine victims from coming forward.”

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