A woman from Walney has been convicted of perverting the course of justice.
Eleanor Williams, 22, of Walney, was found unanimously guilty of eight counts of perverting the course of justice at Preston Crown Court today (3 January, 2023). She also admitted a ninth count of perverting the course of justice prior to the beginning of the trial.
The charges arose after Williams accused multiple men over a period of three years of raping and trafficking her.
The allegations resulted in a large-scale police investigation into crimes including human trafficking and child sex offences. The investigation resulted in men being arrested – with one spending over two months on remand.
Cumbria Police Head of Crime, Detective Chief Superintendent Dave Stalker, said:
“It is important for people to understand that these were far from victimless crimes. Williams baselessly claimed she had been a victim of Asian grooming gangs and named specific individuals as being responsible for trafficking and abusing her – individuals who were found, following a thorough investigation, to have committed no such offences.
“In a number of cases, her claims led to innocent men being arrested by officers who, understandably, took such appalling allegations seriously. In one case a young man was arrested and held on remand.
“Williams had produced compelling evidence when reporting her abuse, whilst her posts on Facebook caused uproar in the community, increased community tensions and negatively impacted trust in the police. However, as detectives investigated her accounts, they found evidence that Williams had not only lied but had concocted evidence to support her allegations including creating fake Snapchat accounts and inflicting injuries on herself.
“Cases such as this, where someone has invented crimes and concocted evidence, are extremely rare.
“However, incidents of sexual abuse occur in every community and I can assure the public that we remain committed to doing everything in our power – alongside partner agencies – to stop such abuse before it occurs and bring perpetrators to justice when abuse has taken place.
“Anyone who has suffered physical or sexual abuse – whether recent or non-recent – is encouraged to pick up the phone and contact police today. They will be supported and their reports will be treated sensitively and investigated thoroughly by highly-trained detectives.
“Finally I would like to thank those people, particularly Williams’ victims, who showed great resolve in giving evidence in this case.”