A 62-year-old woman has been jailed for six months after making a false rape claim.
Wendy Willson claimed she had been the victim of a violent attack in her home in Spenser Road, Lynn, just days before Christmas in 2013.
She told police two men had broken into her home before assaulting and raping her.
Officers from the Norfolk and Suffolk Major Investigation Team conducted detailed enquiries in the days and weeks after the incident, including comprehensive house-to-house and forensic work.
The investigation continued throughout January and February 2014.
However, as forensic, witness and financial enquiries progressed, officers began to question Willson’s version of events.
Initially, she had not reported anything stolen or damaged during the incident but was subsequently found to have attempted to claim more than £6,000 from her insurers.
In April 2014, Willson was arrested and later charged with perverting the course of justice in relation to the false allegations and fraud by false representation in relation to the insurance claim.
Willson was due to stand trial at Norwich Crown Court on February 10 after denying both offences at an earlier hearing, however changed her plea to guilty, admitting both offences.
Today (Wednesday 4 May) at Norwich Crown Court she was sentenced to five months imprisonment for perverting the course of justice and a further month for the fraud offence.
The court heard previously that on Sunday, December 22, 2013, Willson reported to police that she had been at her home in Spencer Road when two men, who spoke with eastern European accents, broke into the house by forcing a conservatory door before forcing her into the kitchen where she was raped by both men.
Willson said she had been threatened with a knife, hit with a metal bar and punched in the head which caused her to fall, hitting her head on a unit, knocking her unconscious.
Although she didn’t report anything stolen initially, it later transpired Willson had attempted to claim £6,000 from her insurers. The claim was never paid as a result of inconsistencies in her story.
In total, 76 officers worked on the enquiry between December 2013 and May 2014 at an approximate cost of £70,000.
Despite later pleading guilty to the offences, Willson never offered an explanation in police interview for making the false allegations.
Commenting on the case, Det Superintendent Paul Durham, from the Norfolk and Suffolk Major Investigation Team, said: “Willson deliberately fabricated this extremely serious incident for her own personal financial gain. It diverted resources at a very demanding time for the police, but far more importantly, I believe she has done a real disservice to genuine victims of similar types of crime and to the community as a whole.
“Furthermore, she claimed the offence had been committed by two men who spoke with eastern European accents, which had the potential to cause community tensions.”
“This was an isolated and extreme case and victims of rape and sexual assault can continue to be confident in reporting incidents to police. If anything I believe this case demonstrates how seriously we take such cases and that officers will carry out comprehensive enquiries to bring offenders to justice.”