‘Victim’ who made false rape claim spared jail

Picture: John Devlin

Picture: John Devlin

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A WOMAN who sparked a police investigation when she falsely claimed she had been raped on a train was given a community payback order yesterday.

Karen Farmer, 35, told officers that a man had sexually assaulted her when she was travelling from Glasgow to Blantyre.

The complainer has behaved disgracefully

Sheriff Kenneth Mitchell

But the court heard that she had consented to having sex with the man with whom she had been on a date in the hours leading up to the journey. She made the rape claim after he ran off and left her when the train reached its destination.

Farmer then alleged that the 23-year-old with whom she had been intimate was “aggressive and controlling”. He was later detained at work and questioned by the police.

Farmer, from Paisley, pled guilty at Glasgow Sheriff Court to falsely claiming she was raped and causing police to devote their time and services in an investigation she knew was false.

Sentencing Farmer yesterday, Sheriff Kenneth Mitchell told her: “Any right-minded individual would have little sympathy for the complainer – he behaved disgracefully.”

Farmer will be supervised for the next three years as a condition of her order.

The court heard that on 14 August, 2012 Farmer and the man went on a date in Glasgow city centre. They were seen drinking and being “openly physically affectionate” by kissing one another. Procurator fiscal depute Collette Fallon said that Farmer was under the impression that she would be staying the night with the man.

The pair later boarded a train at Central Station that was going to Blantyre, where her date lived.

While on the train, they were captured on CCTV “engaging in consensual sex”. Miss Fallon said when they got off the train at Blantyre, the man told Farmer he needed to go to the toilet but ran away from the station.

Farmer, visibly upset, looked for him and eventually asked to borrow someone’s phone to text her date. In the message, she said: “Thanks for the night that I paid for, for you to leave me in Blantyre.”

The message also said: “For you to use me like that has made me feel so low. Trying to find my way back home, I don’t know how to get there.”

Miss Fallon said: “The accused boarded the train back to Glasgow. During the course of the journey, she knocked on the driver’s cab door and the driver opened the door and saw the accused was upset and crying. She told him she had been assaulted but did not specify further.”

When she got to Central Station, she told police she had been sexually assaulted on the train and was taken to a police station. Farmer told the police about her date with the man and claimed she was in some pain, so was taken to hospital by ambulance. She described her alleged attacker as “aggressive and controlling”.

The man was detained at work and questioned although later released. Police viewed the CCTV from train which did not show any rape taking place.

In October that year, Farmer was detained and later charged for wasting police time.

Defence counsel Louise Arrol described her client as a “vulnerable 35-year-old”.

Miss Arrol said: “She has very little recollection of events that evening. There was reference to her being intoxicated. When she viewed the CCTV, she realised her recollection was not what she thought it was.”

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