Liam Smith, a 27-year-old man, has been convicted and faces imprisonment after fabricating and disseminating false rape accusations against six men he encountered on the dating app Grindr.
These baseless claims led to significant suffering and anxiety for the victims, some of whom were wrongfully arrested and subjected to intrusive forensic examinations by the police.
The incidents occurred in various locations, including Newcastle, South Tyneside, and Sunderland.
Conviction and Sentencing
Following a trial at Newcastle Crown Court, a jury found Smith guilty on seven counts related to acts intending to pervert the course of justice.
Judge Penny Moreland remanded Smith in custody, stating that he will be sentenced on March 22. The judge emphasized the inevitability of immediate custody for the convicted offenses.
Anne Richardson, the prosecutor, asserted that Smith’s false rape allegations instigated unnecessary and time-consuming investigations, causing profound suffering and anxiety for the wrongly accused men.
Despite the defendant’s attempt to justify one of the allegations as a result of post-traumatic stress disorder-induced flashback, the Crown maintained that the repercussions of false sexual assault claims are severe due to the harm inflicted on reputation and family life.
Details of False Allegations
In 2018, Smith reported being raped by a male stranger in a public sauna, leading to the arrest of an innocent man.
Subsequent investigations revealed consensual sexual activity between the two individuals. Another false accusation in 2018 involved Smith claiming rape by another man, later withdrawn citing mental health concerns.
Additional fabricated rape allegations were made in 2019 and 2020, leading to arrests, detentions, and forensic examinations of the accused individuals.
Pattern of Deceptive Behavior
Smith’s deceptive pattern continued as he reported another rape allegation in 2020, leading to the arrest of the same man on multiple occasions.
The defendant later admitted to fabricating the allegations, attributing them to delirium and flashbacks.
Further instances of false accusations in 2020 and 2021 demonstrated a consistent trend of Smith misusing emergency services, causing unwarranted distress to innocent individuals.
Conclusion and Crown’s Submission
The Crown argued that Smith, described as a troubled young man, displayed a problematic inability to distinguish between reality and fantasy.
The prosecution suggested that Smith’s motives, whether rooted in a desire for attention or a propensity for fantasy, led to the unwarranted arrest, detention, and embarrassment of innocent men engaging in lawful, consensual activities.
The jury is tasked with determining the credibility of Smith’s claims and the gravity of the consequences inflicted upon the falsely accused individuals.Share on Facebook «||» Share on Twitter «||» Share on Reddit «||» Share on LinkedIn