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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 October 2006, 15:00 GMT 16:00 UK
False rape claim woman faces jail
Katie Davis
Katie Davis broke down as she was told she would be jailed
An 18-year-old woman is facing a jail sentence after falsely claiming she was raped by a stranger in an alleyway.

Katie Davis's allegation condemned an innocent man, Frank Chisholm, 24, to 10 weeks in an East Sussex jail after he was charged with rape in St Leonards.

The charge was later dropped when forensic tests proved Davis was lying.

A judge at Lewes Crown Court told Davis her actions were "wicked and evil" after she was found guilty on Tuesday of perverting the course of justice.

Davis, of Blackman Avenue, St Leonards, broke down as Judge Richard Brown said a custodial sentence was inevitable.

She collapsed into the arms of relatives as she emerged from the dock.

This case highlights the difficulty that the police face when investigating reports of rape
Det Sgt Geoff Childs

Judge Brown said Mr Chisholm, who always maintained the pair had consensual sex, had no stain against his character.

He was not in court to hear the verdict, but in a witness statement said vandals had targeted his home in Battle Road and shouted abuse at him in the street as a result of the case.

"I used to be an outgoing, personable and sociable person," he said.

"Now I can't bear to go out and I'm very wary of girls. This seems like a nightmare that will never end."

The court had heard Davis told police she was raped by a masked man in an alleyway off Battle Road on the night of 6 March last year.

Frank Chisholm
The judge said Frank Chisholm had no stain against his character

She invented the story because she feared she could be pregnant after having unprotected sex with railway worker Mr Chisholm.

DNA evidence linked him to Ms Davis, who was 16 at the time of the incident, and clamed to be a virgin.

The charge against Mr Chisholm was dropped after fibres found on Davis's fleece showed it had come into direct and prolonged contact with the duvet on his bed.

Discrepancies and inconsistencies in her story also gave police "serious doubts" about her allegations.

Following the case, Sussex Police said they regretted that Mr Chisholm had spent time in jail.

Divergent accounts

But they and the Crown Prosecution Service had believed there was sufficient evidence to pursue a rape case.

"Rape is a violent crime. The police always treat allegations of rape seriously," said Det Sgt Geoff Childs.

"This case highlights the difficulty that the police face when investigating reports of rape.

"Although the police usually identify a suspect, difficulties often arise in proving the divergent accounts of both parties.

"It is common for an accused to state that the act was consensual."

He said the police acted immediately to secure Mr Chisholm's release after they received the forensic results.

Davis was released on conditional bail until 13 November to allow pre-sentence and psychiatric reports to be prepared.




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Listen to some of Katie Davis's original 999 call



SEE ALSO
Man's anger at 'false rape claim'
05 Oct 06 |  Southern Counties
Teenager 'made up alleyway rape'
04 Oct 06 |  Southern Counties

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