By Racahel Grealish
Cumbria Police has said the organisation is still ‘working to repair the damage done in the community’ after a Barrow woman lied about sexual abuse.
Eleanor Williams, from Walney, has been jailed today, Tuesday, March 14, after she lied about suffering abuse and fabricated evidence, Cumbria Police revealed.
The 22-year-old, who was found guilty of eight counts of perverting the course of justice following a trial which concluded in January, falsely accused multiple men over a period of three years of raping and trafficking her as well as fabricated evidence. Read more HERE.
Cumbria Police Is Working On Repairing The Damage Done
Now, Cumbria Police say they are still working on repairing the ‘damage done’ from such allegations being made.
Superintendent for Policing in Westmorland and Furness, Matt Pearman, said: “In May 2020, the defendant posted images of her injuries to Facebook, claiming she had been the victim of sexual and physical abuse. More than two years on from that act, we are still working to repair the damage done in the community.
“In the aftermath of the social media post and Williams’ subsequent arrest, protests began which, whatever their motive, negatively impacted public confidence in the police in Barrow. In some quarters, protesters sought to actively discourage victims from reporting abuse to the police.
“The fall-out also led directly to hate crime being perpetrated against members of the Asian community.
“My biggest concern throughout this period has been that these false allegations would discourage genuine victims of abuse from coming forward to ourselves and our partners.
“It is important to note that Williams allegations could not have been taken any more seriously when she initially came forward. A large-scale investigation was launched and those she made allegations against were arrested and interviewed.
“This has been a lengthy, complex and ultimately tragic case, as well as a dark period for Barrow. I hope that the full story, now it is in the public domain, will demonstrate that the police take allegations of sexual and physical abuse extremely seriously and will investigate thoroughly.
“I urge anyone who has been the victim of sexual or physical abuse to report it today. You will be listened to and supported.”
Police Say Cases Like This Are Rare
The Senior Investigating Officer Doug Marshall went on to say these kinds of cases where someone has invented and concocted crimes are rare, but not victimless.
He said: “It is important for people to understand that these were far from victimless crimes. Williams named specific individuals as being responsible for trafficking and abusing her – individuals who were found 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.
“Williams had produced compelling evidence when reporting her abuse. 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.
“What is, sadly, not rare is physical and sexual abuse against children and young adults. It occurs in Barrow, in Cumbria and across the country.
“I can assure the public that we are 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.”