London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
MR JUSTICE DAVIS
MR JUSTICE DAVID CLARKE
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|LISA ANNE JENNIFER MERRITT
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"I quite accept that you are now remorseful about what you have done, you feel foolish and sorry, and the best evidence of that is your guilty plea.
What you sought to do, however, was to use the criminal justice system in your own matrimonial difficulties. Such an offence, whatever the background to it, is so serious that a custodial sentence must be passed, because the seriousness - to quote your counsel - must be brought home to you and must be brought home to others."
"On the other hand this was, on any view, a wicked thing to do. The appellant only abandoned the false story because the police had continued their enquiries. As everyone knows it is an easy allegation to make and may be very difficult to refute. The possibilities are terrifying when one considers what might have happened had the police not been so persistent."
Then he went on to say this:
"The question is was a term of the length of three years' custody necessary? We think it was not. It is necessary to make people understand that this sort of lie will be met by severe punishment. But we have to balance against that the age of this young woman and the circumstances in which she saw fit to tell these lies."
"The court must, when it is faced with circumstances such as this where a man is falsely accused of rape and therefore wrongly imprisoned, make it absolutely plain as can be that anyone who resorts to conduct of that kind will be severely punished. A loss of liberty is an inevitable consequence."
The sentence in that particular case was reduced, in effect because of the particular personal circumstances of the individual appellant.