October 2018

Mum asked teen for sex during night out – then falsely claimed he’d raped her

A mum-of-three had sex with a teenager in a public toilet – then falsely claimed he’d raped her after he refused to start a relationship with her.

Sophie Skinner told Damon Osborne she could get him into “trouble” when he said he would not be her “partner” after they had sex during a night out

On Friday 25-year-old Skinner was jailed after being convicted of perverting the course of justice following two crown court trials earlier this year.

The judge in the case said the false complaint had an “insidious effect” on the confidence of the public with genuine rape complaints.

Skinner was found guilty of perverting the course of justice in September after an earlier trial ended in a hung jury.

Newport Crown Court heard Skinner had gone to a Wetherspoon pub in Abergavenny alone in June 2016 where she was seen on CCTV “looking for attention” before coming across Mr Osborne, who was 18 at the time, and his friend.

The three chatted before Skinner made her way to another bar but she came across Mr Osborne again later that night while he waited for a lift home.

Skinner asked him if he wanted to have sex with her, which he agreed to, and the pair went into nearby toilets where CCTV caught her initiating sex.

When Mr Osborne declined her request to become her new “partner” because he had a girlfriend Skinner told him she could get him into “trouble”.

Skinner then went to another bar where she was again captured on CCTV “desperately looking for attention from others” before returning to the Wetherspoon pub and telling door staff Mr Osborne had raped her.

Prosecutor Owen Williams read a victim impact statement from Mr Osborne, in which he said he was kept in police custody for 17 hours and subjected to “embarrassing” medical examinations after the complaint was made.

Mr Osborne said: “It’s turned my life upside down.

“Yes I had sex with her but I was not expecting to be accused of rape because it was consensual.

“I was given a curfew on bail which had an impact on my work and social life.

“One employer said he no longer required me because I couldn’t work the hours.

“Yes I did wrong by my partner and I feel ashamed by my actions.

“I knew I was innocent but it didn’t stop me thinking about the worst-case scenario and being sent to prison for something I didn’t do.

“If there was no CCTV in this case she may have been believed and I would be spending years in prison. It would have ruined my life.”

Judge Daniel Williams said it was “commendable” police dropped Skinner’s complaint so soon after it was made and to prosecute her for her lies.

But he said her false complaint had “dreadful consequences” for her victim.

The judge said: “When Mr Osborne gave in to your persistent demands for sex you said you could get him into trouble for having sex with you.

“CCTV footage could not have been clearer. You initiated sex with him.

“Rape is a repulsive act. Victims of rape should be treated with every possible consideration by the justice system.

“But equally a false allegation can have dreadful consequences.

“Every occasion a proven false allegation is made can have an insidious effect on public confidence in genuine complaints.

“You have no victim empathy or remorse at all.”

Skinner, from Woodland Crescent, Llanfoist, Monmouthshire, was sentenced to 18 months in jail.