A woman has been jailed for six months after she lied to the police leading to the arrest of two innocent men – one of them her husband.
Initially Deborah Fraser claimed when she was out walking her dog in Ravensthorpe, Dewsbury, a man slashed at her neck before she managed to run away bleeding.
When she was taken to hospital by police for treatment to a cut under her jaw she said her attacker was an ex partner Stephen Earnshaw.
He was arrested and spent 19 hours in custody as a result.
Fraser was still maintaining that account a couple of weeks later when she added to her lies by claiming to have received a threatening letter from Mr Earnshaw. The note said “Debbie you are dead. I nearly got you once but there is a next time.”
Paul Nicholson prosecuting told Leeds Crown court on Wednesday that Mr Earnshaw was again questioned spending a further five hours in custody and a police car was stationed outside Fraser’s then home in Field Lane, Ravensthorpe for three days.
But after those inquiries revealed Mr Earnshaw could not have been responsible for the note she changed her account, blaming her husband Andrew for the injury and saying he had written the letter.
He was wrongly believed to have been in breach of a non- molestation order and was taken in for questioning.
However, when police told Fraser they would do forensic tests in the house she began to cry and admitted she had lied about the attack and cut her own neck with a knife when she was feeling suicidal.
She then thought she would blame her ex-partner to her husband but when he contacted the police she found herself ‘caught up in events’. She had written the threatening note with her left hand.
Mr Nicholson said police had spent 75 hours investigating the allegations and had installed a panic alarm.
Fraser, 50, recently of Cross Lane, Royston, Barnsley, who appeared in court in a wheelchair, admitted three charges of attempting to pervert the course of justice in January and February last year.
Alan Taylor said in her mitigation that she was deeply remorseful and “full of shame” for her actions in what were a “bizarre set of circumstances.”
She was suffering from a personality disorder accompanied by a chronic depressive illness. Mr Earnshaw had forgiven her and she was now back with him.
Sentencing Fraser, Judge Penelope Belcher said the case was so serious there had to be an immediate jail term. There had been a significant impact on two innocent victims.