Scarborough hoaxer McCauley McHale made false robbery allegation against his ex-partner's boyfriend

An innocent man was arrested after his partner’s scheming ex-boyfriend made a false robbery allegation.

Monday, 22nd June 2020, 9:53 am
Updated Monday, 22nd June 2020, 10:00 am

The accused man was hauled out of bed, placed in handcuffs and forced into the back of a police van while his accuser, 22-year-old McCauley McHale, was at Scarborough Police Station telling officers a pack of lies, York Crown Court heard.

Earlier that day, McHale had turned up at a woman’s home in Scarborough and told her he had been robbed by three men.

The woman, who didn’t know McHale, called police out to her property in Barrowcliff and officers found McHale nursing his hand, which he said had been injured during a robbery, said prosecutor Emma Downing.

McCauley McHale

“A 999 call was received by police from a female who…said a male had attended her address saying he had been attacked by three males and (that) his mobile had been stolen,” she added.

“Police went to the address…and saw the defendant stood next to the house, holding his right hand with his left hand as if injured.”

McHale said he had been attacked by three men in nearby Wreyfield Drive and even gave them the name of one of his ‘attackers’ involved in the ‘incident’, which he claimed had occurred at about 9.20am on May 19.

“He told police he had been pushed to the floor and somebody had stamped on his hand,” said Ms Downing.

McHale gave police the name of his ex-partner’s boyfriend and falsely alleged that the man had been giving him “grief” over a debt. He said he didn’t know the other two men.

“He said (the innocent man) and the two unknown males threw him to the floor and kicked and punched him repeatedly,” added Ms Downing.

Officers drove McHale to the area where he said he had been robbed and the brazen hoaxer duly pointed out “various areas of interest”.

Police were driving him to the police station to make a statement when he started complaining of “pins-and-needles” in his hand. They drove him to Scarborough Hospital and waited for him while he had an x-ray which showed no fractures.

McHale was taken back to the police station but officers became suspicious of his account of the so-called robbery – particularly his claim that he was on his way to the shops when the ‘robbery’ occurred.

“Eventually, he said to them he had lied and was in the area to buy drugs, not to do any shopping,” said Ms Downing.

As McHale’s tall story began to unravel, other officers went to a property in Scarborough where the accused man was roused from his sleep and arrested.

“He was handcuffed, taken out of (the house) and put in the back of a marked police vehicle,” added Ms Downing.

He was “absolutely adamant” he had done nothing wrong, and his girlfriend insisted he had not left her property on the day in question. Her insistence was corroborated by police vehicle checks which showed he had not left her address all day.

Notwithstanding, he was held for about 25 minutes before making a witness statement and finally being released.

At the police station, McHale had still not made a full confession and made a written statement riddled with “further inconsistencies”.

“He said he had bought the (mobile phone ‘stolen’ in the ‘robbery’) a week before for £25, but enquiries revealed he had only been released from his last custodial sentence one day before (the alleged robbery),” said Ms Downing.

Upon being arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice by making a false robbery allegation, McHale told police: “But my phone has been robbed.”

“During the interview he did admit he lied about the attack and that he lied about the phone being stolen,” added Ms Downing.

“He said he had injured his hand during a fight with someone, but not with (the wrongly-accused man).

“When officers asked (McHale) why he had lied, the defendant said he was really annoyed when he found out that (the innocent man) was in a relationship with (his ex-partner).”

McHale, from Scarborough but of no fixed addresss, pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice when he appeared at the Crown Court via video link on Friday.

The court heard he had previous convictions for 13 offences including assaulting his ex-partner, causing actual bodily harm, and threatening behaviour towards a male which led to a six-month prison sentence in December last year. It was one day after his release from that sentence - while on prison licence - that McHale, hell-bent on revenge, made the robbery allegation.

Mohammed Hussain, mitigating, said McHale had acted “foolishly” after finding out his ex-partner was in a relationship with another man.

Jailing McHale for eight months, judge Simon Hickey blasted the hoaxer for his “persistent” lies and for wasting police time and money with his spurious tales which had led to the arrest of an innocent man.

McHale – who has previous convictions for battery, handling stolen goods and public disorder – was also given a five-year restraining order which bans him from contacting the man he falsely accused of robbery.