A criminology student has been jailed for 16 months after falsely accusing a taxi driver of sexual assault, after he refused to take her kebab-drenched £10 note (US$13.50).
Sophie Pointon, 22, called the police in the early hours of April 22 this year after a night out in Leeds city center, claiming that a taxi driver sexually “attacked” her in the back of a cab, the Yorksire Evening Post reported.
The driver said that Pointon, who was studying in Leeds at the time, threw a £10 note at him, which he refused to accept because it was covered in kebab oil. Pointon then became abusive and ran around the car opening doors, the newspaper said.
“He did not think much of it at the time because such incident with people who are intoxicated are not unusual,” prosecutor Kate Bisset said at Leeds Crown Court. Bisset also said the driver recalled Pointon being “extremely drunk.”
Evidence that exposed holes in Pointon’s claims included data from a GPS tracker fixed on the driver’s taxi, which did not match her description of the journey.
The taxi driver also had a recording of him with the phone operator, to support his account, according to The Telegraph.
Pointon, who aspired to become a police officer, continued with her deception after calling 999, by signing a statement that gave an account of the attack.
She pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice.
When her account was challenged by the police, Pointon broke down in tears and asked if she could drop the charges, according to the Yorkshire Evening Post.
Judge Christopher Batty told her, “Your malicious complaint has done a huge disservice to those seeking justice through the police and courts.”
The taxi driver said in his statement that the accusations caused him to suffer stress.
The sentencing comes less than a month after 25-year-old Jemma Beale from Hounslow, West London, was jailed for 10 years after she made false rape and sexual assault claims against 15 men.
Met Police detectives started to investigate Beale’s case in 2013 after one of Beale’s former girlfriend’s claimed that a man had been wrongly jailed after Beale lied that she’d been raped by him three years earlier.
Detective Sgt. Kevin Lynott, who led the investigation, said in a statement in August, “Beale has been exposed as a serial liar and I can only think that she was motivated partly by financial reward, but mainly the attention and control over her partners and family at the time she made the allegations.”