Sheffield mum locked up for making false and ‘wicked’ allegation of rape against man she met on night out
‘You have let all women down and attacked the fabric of justice in our country,’ Sheffield’s top judge told a 43-year-old woman as he jailed her for making a false allegation of rape.
Margaret Weldon did not say a word as she was sent down to begin a two-and-a-half year prison sentence for the false allegation of rape she made against a man she met on a night out – and subsequently had consensual sex with on two separate occasions.
During a hearing held today, Sheffield Crown Court heard how the pair met at Maggie May’s bar in Sheffield city centre on the evening of April 1, 2017, before leaving together to go to West Street pub, Maida Vale.
Ian Goldsack, prosecuting, said the pair left the premises at around 3am, and the complainant invited Weldon back to his home.
“She said she had a car and would drive them there. They spent the night together. The complainant went on to tell the police they had intercourse on two or three occasions,” said Mr Goldsack.
Weldon left at around 7am the next day, and following a text conversation she returned to his home that night, when the pair had consensual sex again.
Mr Goldsack said the complainant subsequently told Weldon he had to go and meet his son in an attempt to ‘get her out of his house'.
“Ms Weldon tried to call him on a number of occasions. He ignored the calls but text her and tried to let her down gently. He said he had no interest in seeing her again, and had issues with an ex.”
Weldon took an overdose later that day, and when she was being taken to hospital she told paramedics and her husband that she had been raped, the court heard.
South Yorkshire Police were informed of the allegation by medical staff, and when officers attended at the hospital on April 3, Weldon said she had been violently raped in the street.
The following day, Weldon told police she had not been ‘entirely truthful’ about the allegation, and said she had actually been raped in a bed by a man she gave a lift home to after he followed her to her car.
Weldon subsequently gave a video interview to the police, and at the same time the complainant was brought in for questioning and kept in custody for just over five hours.
“Ms Weldon said she had [his number because she had] been trying to contact him with a view to stabbing him for what he had done,” said Mr Goldsack.
During the course of the police investigation into Weldon’s allegation, officers obtained CCTV from Maida Vale which showed Weldon and the complainant ‘hugging and kissing’.
Mr Goldsack told the court that officers also took a statement from one of the complainant’s neighbours, who said he witnessed him coming home with Weldon; and later heard ‘love making and a female making pleasurable sounds’ through the walls of their adjoining properties.
“Despite all of that, and the sensitivities around these allegations, it wasn’t until August 2017 that the complainant was released from investigation,” added Mr Goldsack.
In a victim personal statement read to the court, the complainant said Weldon’s ‘malicious’ allegation had left him with depression.
“I knew I hadn’t done what was being alleged, but that didn’t help the feelings I had about my future; how long I would be under investigation for and the stigma of what was being alleged,” said the complainant.
He added: “I had to tell my kids and I had to tell my family.”
Mr Goldsack told the court that South Yorkshire Police had estimated the cost of investigating Weldon’s false allegation as being £6,797.
Weldon, of Badger Close, Woodhouse, pleaded guilty to one count of committing a series of acts with intent to pervert the course of justice at an earlier hearing.
Paul O’Shea, defending, told the court that Weldon had been diagnosed with breast cancer, and had recently had a number of lumps removed surgically. He said she was due to start radiotherapy on Wednesday, May 15.
Mr O’Shea said Weldon had mental health problems and suffered from a borderline personality disorder.
He referred to a number of character references that had been submitted to the court in which various people described her as being a ‘good mother’ to her children, two of whom still live at home.
Mr O’Shea described the detrimental impact her being sent to prison would have, not only on her children, but also on her husband who suffers from myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME).
As he passed sentence, The Recorder of Sheffield, Judge Jeremy Richardson QC, said Weldon deserved two-and-a-half years in prison for her ‘wickedness’.
“You have let all women down, let there be no mistake about that...you have attacked the fabric of justice in this country,” said Judge Richardson.
He added: “The consequences of this crime have been, in many respects, devastating for your victim. He now suffers from depression, and there have been life-changing consequences.”
- South Yorkshire Police have been asked to provide a custody image of Weldon