Devon mother who cried rape twice is jailed for six months
A young mother from Devon has been jailed after she made two different false reports of rape within hours.
Ashleigh Loder wasted at least 100 hours of police time and had a wholly innocent man taken in for questioning after inventing the two attacks in Bideford.
She first told police she had been attacked by two strangers in an alley in Bideford but then changed her story and said a friend had forced her to have sex in her own home.
The man only proved his innocence because he filmed his sexual encounter on his mobile phone and the footage showed Loder to have been a willing and active participant.
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The heroin user was drunk on vodka at the time and invented her story because she was a friend of the man’s partner and feared the consequences of sleeping with him.
She spread her claims about him around Bideford and he was forced to stay inside and become a recluse for two weeks to avoid reprisals, Exeter Crown Court was told.
Loder, aged 25, of Westcroft Court, Union Close, Bideford, admitted perverting the course of justice and was jailed for six months by Judge Phillip Wassall.
He told her: “The man was branded a rapist locally and it caused him considerable distress and suffered threats within the local area and lost time off work.
“One can only imagine what it is like to be accused of a very serious crime which could carry a sentence of around six years.
“There are some offences so serious that the court has no option other than immediate custody. There must be a clear message to anyone who invents a serious allegation, particularly one such as this which carries such a stigma.”
Mr Jonathan Barnes, prosecuting, said Loder called the police on the night of December 1 last year and initially claimed to have been raped in an alley near her home as she left for a night out.
She said she had been dragged to the ground and assaulted by two strangers but forensic checks at the scene and on her clothing cast doubt on her story.
Detectives confronted her with the evidence and instead of admitting her lies she created a fresh fiction in which she accused a man who had been to her home for sex of a date rape.
He had to take time off work to go to be interviewed by police but was able to prove his innocence through the images on his mobile. Loder had also sent him a text with the alley rape claim, which cast doubt on her version of events.
Mr Barnes said: “The allegations had a considerable effect on him. They were bandied about the area and he had to live like a recluse for two weeks. He lost two stone of weight through the stress and had problems sleeping.”
He said the officer in the case estimated at least 100 hours of police time were expended on the unnecessary inquiry.
Mr Greg Richardson, defending, said Loder was in a confused state at the time because she was taking heroin and drinking large amounts of vodka to cope with ongoing issues over access to her children, who are in care.
He said: “Her life was a complete dream and she convinced herself she had been raped. Who knows what was going on in her mind but she believed something within her had said no.
“She is now determined to break the cycle of drink and drugs and says the situation she got into was rock bottom. She wishes to apologise sincerely to the man.”