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Last Updated: Friday, 16 May, 2003, 14:57 GMT 15:57 UK
Hamiltons' accuser found guilty
Nadine Milroy-Sloan
Nadine Milroy-Sloan had denied perverting the course of justice
The woman who accused former Tory MP Neil Hamilton and his wife Christine of rape has been found guilty of making up the incident.

Trainee lecturer Nadine Milroy-Sloan, 29, from Grimsby, north Lincolnshire, was found guilty of two counts of perverting the course of justice by a jury at the Old Bailey.

The Hamiltons were arrested in 2001 after Milroy-Sloan told police she had been raped by them, 62-year-old Barry Lehaney and a man called Andrew in Mr Lehaney's flat in Ilford, Essex.

The Hamiltons were cleared of any involvement as was Mr Lehaney.

A court order freezing Milroy-Sloan's assets is still in place and she is due back in court on 13 June, for sentencing.

The Hamiltons said they were relieved by the verdict.

The whole thing has just been a grotesque charade but I'm delighted at last...justice has been done
Christine Hamilton

Christine Hamilton told the BBC: "We've known right from the start what she said was a pack of lies.

"The whole thing has just been a grotesque charade but I'm delighted at last, over two years after she made the original allegations, justice has been done."

She called for a change in the law to preserve the anonymity of those accused of rape.

"What she has done to genuine rape victims is appalling because every time someone like her cries wolf, it makes it much more difficult for a genuine victim to be heard and believed," she said.

'Monstrous lies'

Referring to Milroy-Sloan's meeting with publicist Max Clifford, she said: "The girl is clearly bad, mad and dangerous to know.

"What is the motive of anyone who sees Max Clifford before she makes an allegation of rape?"

Neil Hamilton said he hoped the judge would hand down a substantial sentence.

The Hamiltons

"If there isn't a deterrent sentence it will be a green light to other little gold-diggers to try and make a fast buck out of selling their stories to newspapers," he said.

He said he had no idea why she picked them, although he thinks her motive was money.

And he said their policy of facing the media to explain the details of the allegations was vindicated by the verdict.

Mr Clifford told BBC News he had told Ms Milroy-Sloan she had insufficient proof and he accused the Hamiltons of "paranoia" for blaming him.

'Paranoia'

He said: "It was a police matter. The police investigated this and arrested them. Nothing to do with Max Clifford."

Commander Alan Brown, of the Met Police, said: "Following a thorough investigation in this case, we found no evidence that supported Milroy-Sloan's claims.

If we had been prosecuted and found guilty, then we could have been sent to prison for seven years
Neil Hamilton
"False allegations to police waste valuable police resources and should therefore be treated very seriously."

The court heard how Milroy-Sloan invented a "fantasy" story for fame and financial reward.

She originally visited Mr Clifford on 2 May 2001, alleging she had been raped by the Hamiltons, who wanted to recruit her as a prostitute.

Mr Clifford told her she should go to the police if she had evidence.

Three days later she contacted police in Peckham saying she had been raped by a couple called Joan and James, who she later identified as the Hamiltons.

Max Clifford
Max Clifford denied encouraging the allegations
She then sold her story for 50,000 to a Sunday newspaper in which she waived her right to anonymity, saying she wanted to "stand up and be counted".

But in court the mother-of-four apologised to the Hamiltons, saying she now accepted she could have made a mistake.

Prosecution barrister, Orlando Pownall QC, told the jury: "Having heard all the evidence you may well consider that the defendant suffers from a personality disorder."

In December 2001 Milroy-Sloan pleaded guilty at Grimsby magistrates court to assaulting a woman outside a kebab shop in Cleethorpes.

The jury was told she had four previous convictions in total, but none of a sexual nature.




WATCH AND LISTEN
Neil and Christine Hamilton
give their reaction to the verdict


The BBC's Helen Simms
"The prosecution argued she made up the allegations to find fame"



SEE ALSO:
Hamiltons' accuser apologises
07 May 03  |  England
Profile: Neil Hamilton
10 Aug 01  |  Politics



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