Thursday 27 October 2016

Woman made false rape allegation against man she was angry with - court

Fiona Ferguson and Conor Gallagher

Published 29/10/2015 | 17:59

A WOMAN with a personality disorder who made a false rape allegation against a man she was angry with has been given a suspended sentence.

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At the end of a brief relationship Sarah Eastwood (34) had told the man: “You messed with the wrong person, I will get you sorted out.” She later alleged he raped her in a city centre pub toilet.

The man was never arrested but was interviewed by gardaí during an extensive investigation. He had not been in the city that night and recovery of large amount of CCTV disproved the allegation.

Eastwood, of Judge Darleys Hostel, Parkgate Street, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to two counts of knowingly making a false report during garda interviews at Store Street and Pearse Street garda stations on dates between June and August 2013. She had no previous convictions.

Judge Desmond Hogan had adjourned sentencing after hearing the evidence last July to allow a probation report be prepared.

Today he imposed a three years sentence, suspended for three years and ordered that Eastwood undergo 18 months post-release probation supervision. He also ordered that she continue to receive mental health treatment.

Garda Joanne McCormack told Roisin Lacey BL, prosecuting, that Eastwood first made the allegation after gardaí came across her in a distressed state on the city centre board walk in June 2013.

After being coaxed into a patrol car she alleged she had been raped in a pub toilet by a named man.

Eastwood made a statement at Store Street garda station and became agitated and angry when it appeared there were contradictions in the details. She later accompanied gardaí to the pub and showed them where she alleged the rape occurred.

The named man told gardaí he had exchanged phone numbers with the woman after meeting her at a city centre hotel. After some texts and calls she suggested they meet and they spent had spent the previous Friday and Saturday nights together in a hotel.

He said they had sex on the Friday night and some intimacy on the Saturday night but no sex. He said everything had been consensual and normal.

The man told gardaí he left for work the next day and she became agitated that he was leaving. He said he received 10 to 15 missed calls while in work.

He got a message saying: “You messed with the wrong person, I will get you sorted out.”

He told her he would call gardaí if it did not stop and she replied she would get there before him.

Eastwood was arrested and interviewed again by gardaí in August 2013 about the details of her allegation.

Gda McCormack agreed with Anne Sheridan BL, defending, that Eastwood suffered from mental health issues and came from a decent and respectable family.

Ms Sheridan handed in medical reports to the court and outlined that Eastwood had been diagnosed with an emotional personality disorder. She said her client had lived a normal and stable life up to her diagnosis in 2010 and had a good work history.

She said her client could not explain why she said what she did and accepted it was wrong. She said it was clear from the garda evidence that Eastwood had been aggrieved at the way the brief relationship ended.

Counsel said Eastwood had been doing well until she was charged earlier this year but things had since deteriorated and she was hoping to have the matter finished soon.

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