Rape claim teenager locked up

Bobbie Martin is lead away from York Crown Court after being jailed for eighteen months.'3/3/11
Bobbie Martin is lead away from York Crown Court after being jailed for eighteen months.'3/3/11

A WOMAN who falsely accused two war heroes of raping her in Scarborough has been locked up.

Bobbie Martin, 18, accused Major James Thurstan and Warrant Officer Edward Pickersgill of holding her down and attacking her. In fact they had not laid a finger on her.

York Crown Court heard that the innocent men spent 12 hours in custody and missed their parade of honour through Scarborough because of the “wicked lies” told by jobless Martin.

Speaking after the case, Detective Constable Adam Normanton, of Scarborough CID, said: “The actions of Martin were unwarranted and vindictive. She had no reasonable excuse to implicate two innocent men in such a serious and fictitious crime.”

The court heard the soldiers, who had returned from a tour of Afghanistan with the Coldstream Guards, were due to take part in a civic parade and reception as part of Scarborough’s Armed Forces Day on June 26 last year, to honour their services to their country. However the night before, as the two men ate a takeaway meal and chatted on a bench outside the Royal Hotel in St Nicholas Street, they were approached by a drunken Martin.

She flirted with the soldiers but after humouring her for a short time the two men went back to their rooms in the Royal Hotel, where they were staying and had earlier attended a civic reception.

Martin, of Morley, near Leeds, then told her friends that she had been raped on nearby grassland. Military police made dawn arrests on the two innocent men.

Alan Mitcheson, prosecuting, said the soldiers, both of whom are married, were then subjected to intimate medical examinations.

Martin maintained her allegations, even after hotel CCTV footage which completely exonerated the soldiers was shown to her.

She went on to criticise the police for not doing their jobs and became confrontational while refusing to undergo medical examinations herself.

It was not until further interviews that she finally owned up to inventing the whole incident.

Mr Mitcheson said: “The soldiers were embarrassed and distressed, and missed the parade because they were in custody. The Army is a very small place in which rumours spread very rapidly, both men being concerned that the completely false allegation against them would be on record and have an affect on their future careers.”

Jonathan Devlin, mitigating, said there was a suggestion in a psychiatric report on his client that Martin may have problems stemming from an incident in her early years.

He added that drink had played its part in the offence and pointed out that his client had entered a guilty plea to a charge of perverting the course of justice at the first opportunity.

Sentencing Martin to 18 months in a young offenders’ institution, Recorder of York Stephen Ashurst said: “These were wicked lies you told the police. You have put on a very considerable show playing the victim, which was a complete charade.

“These men were arrested in their hotels at dawn. They had no idea why, one can only imagine their shock. They spent 12 hours in custody and had intimate samples taken from them, yet they had not laid a finger on you.

“They had to explain to their families and colleagues how it was they came to be arrested on suspicion of rape. Cases such as this cause serious damage to the interests of genuine victims of rape, guilty men may go free.

“It is often said there is no smoke without fire, but in this case there was no fire. You have caused two innocent men very great worry and concern.”

Judge Ashurst added that genuine rape victims in North Yorkshire could be heartened by the fact that Scarborough Police had carefully and thoroughly investigated the accusations.

Martin was let from the court in handcuffs to begin her sentence.