Teenager gets three months for false rape accusation

A TEENAGE girl made legal history yesterday when she became the first

person in Scotland to be sentenced to detention for making a falserape

accusation.

Caroline McKinlay, 18, admitted wasting police time by causing

officers to search for her alleged attacker and rendering him open to

suspicion and accusation of rape.

Sentencing her to three months' detention, Dumbarton Sheriff John

Fitzsimons said it was one of the most difficult cases he had ever dealt

with.

He told McKinlay: ''Rape is one of the most serious crimes in the

book. Therefore pretending that someone has perpetrated it must be

treated very seriously as well.''

The court was told that McKinlay was found lying naked from the waist

down on a roadside verge near the Clyde Submarine Base at Faslane,

Dunbartonshire.

She was taken to Vale of Leven Hospital where she claimed a man called

Alex from Drumchapel had taken her out for a drink, then forced her to

have sex in his car before dumping her in remote Glen Fruin.

She repeated the claims at Dumbarton police station, and the alleged

attacker was tracked down and voluntarily appeared for questioning.

He admitted having intercourse with McKinlay but insisted she was a

willing partner.

The man also told officers that the girl had an asthma attack outside

the vehicle after the sex session and panicked because her inhaler was

empty.

He said she refused to calm down and get back into the car so he drove

off without her.

When asked by police why she had lied about what happened in the car,

McKinlay, whose address was given as a hostel in Glasgow, told them: ''I

was happy enough until the sex was all over but later I didn't want it

to have happened.''

Under the terms of the charge, three months was the maximum sentence

available to Sheriff Fitzsimons, who was told by McKinlay that she would

refuse to comply with any probation orders.

He told her: ''I regret having to impose a custodial sentence, but it

is the only course left open to me.

''You don't appear to appreciate the gravity of what you did to this

man and the possible consequences if he had been convicted.

''Nor have you shown the slightest sign of remorse.''

As the sentence was backdated to when she was remanded in custody

eight weeks ago, McKinlay was deemed to have already served the term and

was not detained after the court case.

She refused to comment as she left court and she was believed to be

going to her mother's home in Glasgow.

McKinlay spent some time in France before being brought back to the UK

to face the charges at Dumbarton.

She was to have flown back to Britain via Jersey but tried to dodge

police by failing to make her flight connection from the Channel island.

Eventually she was deported by the authorities in St Helier and banned

from the island for three years for flouting immigration laws.