A woman who laid a false rape complaint against her ex-fiance after he broke up with her put him and his family through “a year of anguish”.
The 36-year-old had visited the victim at work after the breakup, but when he refused to revisit the issue, she immediately laid the complaint.
The woman, who has interim name suppression, appeared in the Wellington District Court this afternoon, where Judge Denys Barry listened to victim impact statements.
The victim was not in court, but sent a statement which his brother read out on his behalf.
It said the offending had changed his views of women and caused serious, ongoing health issues.
According to the summary of facts, he ended their 18-month relationship. During the relationship he suffered “constant emotional blackmail”, the victim said in his statement.
He has regular nightmares about the defendant and feels overly anxious when he sees other women who look like her.
He said the defendant was angry he ended their relationship. She gave a three-hour recorded interview to police in which she gave the date and time for the alleged rape, which she said happened at the couple’s home.
But police later uncovered inaccuracies in her allegations, such as documents provided by the victim showing he was travelling on a bus at the time.
Phone records showed the defendant herself would not have been at home at the time either.
A year after giving the interview, she was invited back to the police station, where she told police she no longer wanted them to investigate as she had forgiven the victim.
When confronted with evidence her story did not add up, the defendant claimed she was traumatised and upset and might have got the timings wrong.
However a few days later she came back to the police station with a written statement confessing she had lied, saying she was angry he had ended the relationship, and accusing him of stealing a few of her personal items.
The victim’s mother said they had gone through “a year of anguish” after the complaint was laid.
“We are, as you know, a tight family, and we were distraught to see what you had done to him,” she told the defendant while reading out her victim impact statement in court.
The mother suffered sleepless nights, worried her son might attempt suicide in his desperation.
She described the victim as a “kind, loving, naive young man”.
The victim’s family “wholeheartedly” welcomed the defendant into their lives, with the mother even gifting her own ring to the couple as an engagement ring.
“None of us will ever accept people so willingly or quickly again.
“I think you decided to do the worst possible thing short of physically injuring him that you could think of . . . I believe you would have quite serenely sent [him] off to prison if the evidence hadn’t outed you as a liar.”
The mother also said the defendant had made it harder for other women who had actually been sexually assaulted to be believed.
“You should be ashamed of what you have done to the credibility of women everywhere.”
The woman will be sentenced in September.