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Woman who falsely accused taxi driver of sexual assault is jailed

Claire Morgan, aged 35, of Bridgend, was sentenced to 30 months imprisonment for perverting the course of justice.

A woman who falsely accused a man of sexual assault has been jailed for perverting the course of justice.

Claire Morgan, aged 35, of Wildmill, Bridgend, was sentenced to 30 months imprisonment at Cardiff Crown Court yesterday.

She pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing.

The court heard that Morgan called South Wales Police on May 14th 2017, reporting that she had been sexually assaulted by a male taxi driver in Bridgend three days before.

She provided a statement to officers giving a detailed description of the taxi journey and the suspect. The incident was investigated and led to the arrest and interview of a taxi driver.

The taxi driver was released on bail with conditions. Due to his occupation his taxi licence was suspended with immediate effect; meaning his only source of income for himself and his family was removed.

The court heard, Morgan during the investigation made a false Facebook profile claiming to have witnessed the incident in response to a police media appeal. She also called Crimestoppers pretending to be a witness to the incident.

The investigating officer identified evidential difficulties during the investigation and after six weeks, the taxi driver was informed that he was no longer under investigation and released with no further action.

As a result of information supplied to Detective Constable Steve Gunney of Barry CID, the investigation changed in direction as it was suspected Morgan had made a false allegation of sexual assault.

Judge Eleri Rees when passing sentence stated that the defendant had wasted a considerable amount of police time and resources. She added that the victim had spent six hours in police custody and was not able to work for around seven weeks while under investigation.

Detective Constable Steve Gunney said: “Thankfully, false allegations of this nature are relatively rare but as Judge Eleri Rees rightly pointed out, they do divert vital resources away from genuine cases.
“Claire Morgan went to great lengths to ensure her version of events was believed and her actions will have wasted valuable police time which could have been far better spent seeking justice for genuine victims. Her allegations also had a devastating impact on the man she accused. I hope she uses her time in prison to reflect on the harm her lies have caused.
“South Wales Police has a dedicated Rape and Serious Sexual Offences (RASSO) team which takes all reports of sexual offences seriously. We work closely with partners, including the Crown Prosecution Service and Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARC), to ensure victims who find the courage to come forward to report crimes committed against them are treated with dignity and respect and are given the specialist support they require.
“I would urge anyone who has been the victim of a sexual offence to report it via 101, or 999 in an emergency.”