False rape accusation goes unpunished

One of the blogs I follow is called “False Rape Society.” It’s a blog I have followed for some time with great interest. It is a blog that has reported on false accusations of rape that have had dire consequences for those accused. They have recently moved to a new site called “Community of the Wrongly Accused” which seems to cover false allegations and wrongly imprisonment for other crimes as well. They fight a good fight and I respect them for that.
So I have that in mind when I think of the story of the mother of four who falsely accused two soldiers of rape. Her name is Teresa Aldridge and she is forty-one years old.

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This woman was at a party where she had consensual sex with two men. Later she drunkenly claimed she had been raped by them.

“Police investigated the claims and arrested two soldiers, a court heard. One was branded a rapist when he returned to barracks and the other had to leave the Army.”

http://metro.co.uk/2013/01/31/mothers-rape-lies-left-soldiers-ruined-3377029/

So her accusations had already created an effect where the accusations had become fairly public and the reputation of both soldiers was already pretty soiled.

“She said the other soldier left the Army and moved away from the area. The prosecutor added: “Twenty-four hours of police resources were wasted, but not before the defendant returned to the police station and made admissions that she had lied and that the sex was consensual.”

Magistrates told Aldridge she had come close to going to prison. They gave her a 120-day sentence suspended for two years with supervision and ordered her to pay £85 costs.”

http://www.kentonline.co.uk/kentish_gazette/news/2013/january/31/teresa_aldridge.aspx

Does one hundred and twenty days in prison suspended for two years with £85 for costs really seem appropriate for what she did? She ruined the lives and the reputation of two people, both of whom had to leave a job the army and move away. The first soldier lost his fiancee and children.
False accusations of rape or indeed any serious crime are damaging but when it’s rape, you’re calling their actions and their behaviour into question so for someone to falsely accuse another of rape, that is despicable. It’s instances like these that reinforces my belief that those accused of the most serious crimes should truly not be named unless they are convicted unless it is deemed necessary by the police, the Crown Prosecution service or the courts. It’s quite obvious the effect any accusation has so it’s reasonable to only attribute such accusations to them when they are actually convicted by a jury of their peers. At least then false accusations by scumbags like Teresa Aldridge potentially won’t be as damaging. I think it also goes without saying that there should definitely be a stronger punishment for false accusations of rape. People should know that it is not right to do it and they should see the consequences of potentially ruining a persons reputation and their life. After all the press and the general public are very unforgiving.
Ian Bond, the solicitor for Teresa Aldridge, made a statement saying that Aldridge is a “vulnerable and troubled woman.” You can see the full statement in the link below at the bottom of the page but in part of the statement he said:

“But she did have the courage to go to the police and say ‘stop, this is wrong’ and understands the pain, suffering and indignity these men suffered.”

http://www.kentonline.co.uk/kentish_gazette/news/2013/january/31/teresa_aldridge.aspx

Such a thing is not courage it’s called honesty and had she been honest from the start none of this would have happened. She obviously is troubled but that is by no means an excuse. She deserves a much harsher punishment. I just hope the general public are more forgiving and understanding of those who have been falsely accused.

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