A 22-year-old man who claimed he was the victim of a gay rape was jailed on Thursday for ten months.
Judge Patrick Lynch QC told Lisburn man Kevin Beeton that despite his guilty plea and remorse, such false claims could pose problems for, and have an effect on public confidence.
The Craigavon Crown Court judge said the courts had always regarded this type of activity as serious, not only for the distress caused to the victim, but also the serious effect it could have on those making genuine claims.
Judge Lynch also told Beeton that he had made-up his false allegations against his former boyfriend as an act of “vengeance upon him”.
Beeton, from Lawnmount Crescent, had pleaded guilty to doing an act with intent to pervert the course of public justice on New Years’s Eve, 2015, in reporting to police he was raped by a male, which he knew to be false.
Prosecution barrister Joseph Murphy in the early hours of December 31, 2015 Beeton made an emergency 999 call claiming that he was the victim of a rape. He later told police that he’d been attacked by a former boyfriend.
Mr Murphy said that Beeton claimed he had been momentarily knocked out, and when he came too he was being raped. However, he was struck on the back of the head causing him to blackout again. As a result of his allegations his former lover was arrested and detained for 12 hours by police.
The court heard that fortunately for him, the man was able to provide an alibi for the time in question, back-up by two others, including his father. Police investigations also contradicted Beeton’s claims of what he was doing before the alleged attack.
Mr Murphy said that when the matter was put to him Beeton admitted making up the allegation because he “simply wasn’t thinking straight”.
He also apologised for wasting the 170 hours police had spent on their investigations at a cost just short of £3,000.
Defence barrister Peter Coiley said Beeton’s guilty plea, at the first opportunity, was an indication “of his genuine remorse, shame and embarrassment”.
Beeton, said Mr Coiley, had wanted “to get back at the victim” and had made an impulsive call to the police and had “foolishly continued with the lie for four days”.
The lawyer added later that Beeton now wanted to put “this sorry chapter in his life behind him and to move on”.