Updated: Sunday, 26th March 2017 @ 7:40am

Cruel woman jailed for falsely accusing Manchester man of rape while he was in bed with girlfriend

Cruel woman jailed for falsely accusing Manchester man of rape while he was in bed with girlfriend

By Dean Wilkins

A woman who lied to get a man arrested after falsely accusing him of rape was jailed for 15 months at Manchester Crown Court today.

Janet Higginbottom, 37, of Coombes View, Hyde, pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice at an earlier hearing and was sentenced today.

Police claimed the heinous crime brought undue distress and shame on the innocent man and his family, but detectives investigating the allegations soon discovered the woman’s plot.

Detective Constable Ian McNabb, of Longsight CID, said: "Higginbottom falsely accused a man of raping her, when in reality he was at home when the alleged offence took place.

“Due to her lies, not only did this man have to endure the shame of being arrested in front of his partner, but he also spent 11 hours in a police cell and had to deal with the associated stigma of being accused of such a grave offence.

“Thankfully though, our thorough inquiries were quickly able to establish the truth. But a lot of police time, effort and money was wasted on this false rape investigation when it could have been better spent helping genuine victims of crime."

In the early hours of November 26 2011, Higginbottom told police for 20 minutes that she had been raped in Levenshulme by a man she knew and received specialist support from officers.

She claimed the man had followed her home, raped her on the street and then driven off – she even provided the registration number of his car.

A thorough investigation was launched immediately to find the suspect and the vehicle and hours later the man was arrested at his home address and his car was seized.

The alleged crime scene was guarded overnight by an officer for almost eight hours and significant inquiries were then carried out by a team of detectives.

The scene was forensically examined by a crime scene investigator, house to house enquiries were conducted on the street surrounding the scene and CCTV from the local area was trawled.

Police made enquiries to trace those who had been out with Higginbottom that night and those who had been with the man accused of attacking her.

The man was then interviewed by detectives after spending several hours in a police cell.

The investigation highlighted a number of serious inconsistencies and when asked about these, Higginbottom later admitted she had lied about the rape and it hadn’t happened.

Anyone who has been a victim of rape or sexual assault can contact Greater Manchester Police on 101 or 999 in an emergency.

GMP has specially trained officers in place to provide a first class response to victims and help support them through the criminal justice process.

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