Leeds teenager’s false Army rape claim

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A Leeds teenager whose “wicked lies” forced two war heroes to miss a military parade of honour after she falsely accused them of raping her has been jailed for 18 months.

Bobbie Martin, 18, of Leeds, accused Major James Thurstan and Warrant Officer Edward Pickersgill of holding her down and inflicting a sickening attack when in reality the innocent military men had not laid a finger on her.

Martin had been on a night out when she began flirting with and exposing herself to the Coldstream Guards officers, who had recently returned from Afghanistan.

The men had just attended a civic reception in Scarborough and were eating a takeaway on a bench outside their hotel as they prepared for a march through the town the next day for the public to honour their bravery.

After humouring Martin they went to bed – but were horrified to be arrested at dawn and accused of rape. The soldiers, both married, then had to explain to their families and colleagues why they had been put in custody, missed the parade and feared for their future careers.

As doubts increased over Martin’s story she even accused police of not doing their job properly – but CCTV confirmed that she had concocted the rape story and the innocent men were exonerated.

Sentencing her to 18 months in a Young Offenders Institution at York Crown Court, Judge Stephen Ashurst said: “These were wicked lies you told the police. You have put on a very considerable show playing the victim, which was a complete charade.

“These men were arrested in their hotels at dawn. They had no idea why, one can only imagine their shock. They spent 12 hours in custody and had intimate samples taken from them, yet they had not laid a finger on you.

“They had to explain to their families and colleagues how it was they came to be arrested on suspicion of rape. Cases such as this cause serious damage to the interests of genuine victims of rape, guilty men may go free.

“It is often said there is no smoke without fire, but in this case there was no fire. You have caused two innocent men very great worry and concern.”

Jonathan Devlin, for Martin, said: “Drink clearly played a part. The state of her intoxication was commented on by the two men who had the misfortune to come across her.”

She has previous convictions for violent and public order offences.

Joanne Mjadzelics

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