A WOMAN with learning difficulties described as a “plague on police’’ has escaped going to jail for falsely accusing an ex-partner of raping her.
Gail Chambers, who also suffers from Cerebral Palsy, accused her former lover of the serious sex assault just months after they had split up.
But a court heard on Wednesday that detectives soon discovered that her ex-partner could not have carried out the rape as he had a “cast iron alibi’’.
The 46-year-old had previously pleaded guilty to a single count of perverting the course of justice.
Prosecuting barrister Peter Magill told Belfast Crown Court that police received a call from Ms Chambers in July, 2012 saying that she had been raped at her home by her ex-partner.
Chambers was taken to the specialist PSNI suite at Garnerville to be interviewed where she maintained that she had been raped.
The court heard she showed investigating officers bruising on her arm which she claimed had happened during the assault.
However, subsequent investigations revealed that the bruising had been caused by injecting herself with prescription insulin she had taken from her mother.
Mr Magill said that her partner, who was also a “more vulnerabler person’’, was later interviewed by detectives who denied raping Chambers.
“He was living at the Morning Star hostel which is secure and had CCTV coverage. It was established that he would not have been in the area at the relevant time.’’
A defence barrister said that Chambers suffered a low IQ, had learning difficulties and was also well known to police at Strandtown in east Belfast for making false claims.
“She has made many complaints but this is the worst complaint of its kind. She has been a plague on Strandtown police.’’
He revealed that she was currently in custody for breaching her bail on the perverting the course of of justice charge after she was arrested for the offence of arson with intent.
Judge Corinne Philpott QC told Chambers: “This was a wicked thing to do. The severity of the offence makes this very serious.
“It is not entirely clear why you made the allegation, whether it was to try and get him back or to have him punished.’’
The deputy Belfast Recorder sentenced her to eight months in prison suspended for three years.
She told Chambers: “You can’t go around doing what you like when you like.’’