This is no time for sisterhood: Women need to get angry with rape liars like Linsey Attridge, says Peter Lloyd – she’s abusing them as well as the system
By Peter Lloyd
9 June 2013
Earlier this week, MailOnline reported on the case of Linsey Attridge – the latest woman to evade jail after making a false rape claim.
The 31 year-old from Aberdeen, Scotland, falsely accused two strangers of sexual assault in a twisted bid to trap her boyfriend into their ailing relationship.
The single mother-of-one claimed that two men broke into her home and committed the violent attack while her partner was away playing football.
She then punched herself in the face and ripped her clothes to make the story appear more credible, before spending three days trawling social networking site Facebook to find innocent users she could ‘identify’ as responsible.
Her victims were then detained by police, questioned and forced to undergo intrusive forensic and medical examinations.
Then, following two months of police investigations, Attridge confessed that the claim was a malicious lie – purposely designed to emotionally manipulate one man by legally manipulating two others
Not to mention the real victims of rape, both male and female.
Last Wednesday, the mother-of-one appeared in Aberdeen Sheriff Court where she publicly admitted wasting police time.
But, in another gender-biased outcome for female offenders, Attridge was spared jail in favour of 200 hours unpaid community service. Something that’s neither a fitting punishment, nor a deterrent.
Gender pay gap? Let’s sort the gender sentencing gap too.
Even her ex-boyfriend, primary victim Nick Smith, said: ‘I think the sentence was ridiculous. I actually walked out of the court as soon as I heard it. I think the justice system has let us all down.’
And he’s right.
Because, although it’s clear that men are the only victims in this particular case, Attridge has also betrayed the sisterhood.
Not only has she embarrassed her gender with her lies, but she has also made the process of convicting real rapists even harder for other women. Women who have already endured unimaginable pain. Girls who, sadly, will be subjected to the same horrors in the future.
And she’s not the only one. In April last year, Kent’s Kirsty Sowden – a former John Lewis shop assistant – cried rape over a fully consensual encounter with a man she’d met online. He was arrested at his workplace in front of colleagues and detained in a cell, wasting 376 hours of police time and costing £14,000.
In May 2012, 20 year-old Hanna Byron was spared jail after falsely accusing her ex-boyfriend of rape in revenge for breaking up with her.
In August, Sheffield’s Emma Saxon made a second false rape allegation against her boyfriend, Martin Blood. He was held in police custody for 14 hours and subjected to an intrusive medical examination – all because he’d stood her up.
Southampton’s Elizabeth Jones was finally jailed in February – but only after making her ELEVENTH false allegation.
Yet, despite this, not one person or rape charity has ever come forward and distanced themselves from such behaviour. Not one.
Which, by default, is yet another disservice to the real victims of rape – both the men and women who are attacked, and the men named and shamed, regardless of conviction.
Sadly, it’s not just women like Attridge who lie. I’m also talking about women in positions of power. Women like Harriet Harman.
In 2010, an official enquiry report led by Baroness Stern – a prison reform campaigner – ordered Harman to stop misleading the public about rape statistics. For years she’d been pumping misinformation that only six per cent of rapists are brought to justice, when the reality is actually very different.
Actually, the rate is more like two in three – a figure which is much higher than comparable numbers for other violent crimes. Yet still we are told that only 4 per cent of rape attacks go to court.
But where was the outrage from women about this? Quite frankly, it was nowhere to be seen. Just like it was missing this week. Which amazes me.
After all, when Lee Rigby was killed in Woolwich, representatives from Britain’s Muslim community publicly distanced themselves from the actions of Michael Adebolajo in a bid to align with what’s right. They did this by highlight what was wrong.
But I never see this with our country’s feminists, which begs a very sad question: are women galvanising over gender, rather than justice?
Too many people assume that there is a party line when it comes to gender issues – that women must support each other, no matter what. But such misplaced loyalty is insane.
In our best-ever age of equality, women should not stand by somebody simply because they share matching XX chromosomes – if they’re crying rape. They should be raging against them, like the crime of rape itself.
Instead, their apathy reeks.
Unfortunately, women also suffer when judges pass laughable sentences – like the one imposed on Attridge. Because if rape is such a terrible crime, and it clearly is, why isn’t defrauding rape with false allegations also bad? And why is it less bad if you’re a woman?
It’s patronising. It tells the world that women are not strong enough, not independent enough, not responsible enough to be equally culpable as their male counterparts in a court of law. And, whether they like it or not, they are.
Equality means equal. The same.
Ironically, Attridge’s sentence comes just days after a man was imprisoned for sending his son a birthday message via the same website which Attridge used to identify her victims.
The very multi-million pound platform which now censors anything which may be deemed offensive to women, but doesn’t extend the same courtesy to men and boys.
These inconsistencies, just like the inconsistencies in criminal sentencing, do the entire female population a disservice when they favour them.
Why? Because they make it about men Vs. women, rather than right Vs. wrong. And that’s what so many people fail to recognise.
This is not the path to justice. In fact, when women fail to publicly criticise these liars, along with their unbelievably light sentences, they’re not being objective or even ignorant – they’re condoning them.