Woman Who Lied About Rape, Trafficking Gets 8 Years

3 men falsely accused by British woman Eleanor Williams attempted suicide
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 14, 2023 6:57 PM CDT
Woman Who Lied About Rape, Trafficking Gets 8 Years
Eleanor Williams.   (Cumbria Police via AP)

After Eleanor Williams claimed to have been raped and trafficked by a gang of Asian men in the north of England, a "Justice for Ellie" solidarity campaign spread worldwide and there was a surge in hate crimes in her hometown of Barrow. But her allegations were "complete fiction," a judge said Tuesday, sentencing the 22-year-old to eight-and-a-half years in prison. Williams was found guilty in January of perverting the course of justice. During a two-day sentencing hearing, the court heard that three of the men Williams targeted over three years of accusations had attempted suicide, the BBC reports.

Williams had already been charged with multiple offenses involving false allegations of rape in May 2020, when she posted on Facebook about having been forced to attend sex parties by a gang of Asian men and shared photos of multiple injuries, including a black eye, the Guardian reports. Investigators determined that she had beaten herself with a hammer she purchased a few days before the post. Police said she gave them a list of 60 girls who had also been trafficked by men including local Pakistani business owners—but none of the alleged victims backed up any of her claims. Some of the girls knew Williams from school and she had apparently selected other names from profiles she found online. Investigators said Williams used multiple phones and social media accounts in an effort to fabricate evidence.

One falsely accused man, Jordan Trengrove, spent 73 days, including his 19th birthday, in jail, sharing a cell with a sex offender, after Williams told police he had raped her. He says he became a hated figure in Barrow, as did business owner Mohammed Ramzan, who ended up moving out of the town after Williams accused him of grooming her from the age of 12 and forcing her to work in brothels. A far-right group gained a foothold in Barrow after Williams' Facebook post caused an uproar and numerous Asian businesses and residents were attacked, the Guardian reports. Robert Altham, the sentencing judge, said Williams had a history of self-harm. He said it was troubling that there was "no significant sign of remorse" and "no explanation why the defendant would commit these offences." (More United Kingdom stories.)

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