In the Media

Woman jailed for false rape claim

PUBLISHED November 8, 2006

A woman has been jailed for making false rape allegations against her former husband.

Sally Henderson, 40, from Woodmancote, near Cirencester, was jailed for a year for claiming she had been the subject of a series of sex attacks.

The mature student was found guilty of perverting the course of justice following a week-long trial at Gloucester Crown Court in September.

She lied about her lorry driver husband raping her during their brief marriage.

Henderson was married to Richard Cooke, 39, in 2004. He was held for 36 hours in a police cell following his arrest.

Five years earlier, she had made similar claims against her then live-in lover Mark Rowe, from Launceston, Cornwall.

Passing sentence at Bristol Crown Court, Recorder David Lane QC said: "You told a series of wicked lies against both men and in particular Mr Cooke.

"The jury may have formed the view, as I did, that you are a skilful actress who is adept at making people believe that you are a victim when you are nothing of the sort."

Henderson, who represented herself in court on Friday after sacking her legal team, said: "I've told the truth, I've not made up any allegations."

Her anonymity was protected by an order under the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 1992 because her complaint was of a sexual nature.

But Judge Lane lifted the restriction after the jury's verdict because he said the offence with which she had been charged - perverting the course of justice - was not sexual.

The judge added: "You framed an innocent man, you accused him of the most serious offence to be brought against a man in the criminal calendar.

"The case against your husband was rot and the spotlight was turned against you."

During the trial, Henderson claimed her ex-husband had viewed her as a sex object, had demanded sex constantly and had raped her at a wedding reception.

But the jury was told that the allegations were almost identical to previous claims made by Henderson against another former boyfriend Mr Rowe, 42.

'Sexual appetite'

Both men were questioned by police but neither was charged with any offence.

Mr Cooke had told the court that he had never attacked his ex-wife.

He said he had suffered serious injuries in a crash shortly after his marriage to Henderson which had left him unable to perform sexually.

"Because of the problems I was having, I was unable to fulfil my wife. She had a very healthy sexual appetite," he said.

Mr Rowe told the court that he met Henderson in 1999 but broke off the relationship after she tried to pressurise him into marriage.

He denied ever raping her, saying she was in control of their sexual relationship.