Teenager’s rape lies

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Teenager’s rape lies
Regular Contributor
A teenage girl is facing jail after her “wicked and evil” rape lies caused an innocent man to be locked up for six weeks

Katie Davis, 18, rang police at midnight claiming she had been brutally attacked in a dark alleyway near her St Leonards home by a balaclava-clad stranger.

Officers immediately launched a manhunt to find the rapist and thought they had their man when a DNA match led them to 23-year-old Frank Chisholm.

The railway labourer spent six weeks on remand at Lewes Prison protesting his innocence before being released.

Police then arrested Davis, who was 16 at the time, and charged her with perverting the course of justice by making a false rape claim.

She was found guilty of the charge by a unanimous jury at Lewes Crown Court this week (tues] after less than an hour of deliberating.

After the verdict, the court heard how Mr Chisholm had gone from being an outgoing and sociable young man to feeling nervous and paranoid and unable to trust anyone.

In a statement, he told of how prison guards warned him he would need to go into a protection wing and that one inmate on the same charge had his throat slit.

Despite being released, Mr Chisholm said when he went into his local fish and chip shop people would call him a rapist and goad him by asking for “Rape & Chips”.

In the statement, he said: “One phone call from that girl has changed my whole life forever.

“This seems like a nightmare that will never end.”

Davis, of Blackamn Avenue, broke down after being convicted and had to be helped out of the court by her family.

Adjourning sentence until November 13 for reports and bailing Davis, Judge Richard Brown told her: “This was a wicked and criminal offence.

“The likelihood is that you will serve a custodial sentence. It was wicked and evil.”

“Mr Chisholm has left this court without a stain on his character, I underline that now in the light of the jury’s verdict.”

During a week-long trial, the jury were told Davis made up the story because she feared she could be pregnant after having unprotected sex with a customer at the shop where she worked.

Giving evidence, Mr Chisholm, spoke of his torment at being branded a rapist and locked up.

He told the court he was walking home drunk after a night out on March 7 last year when he met a girl who he recognised worked in a local One Stop shop in St Leonards.

They started chatting and ended up at his flat having consensual sex, but when he awoke she was gone leaving only her work badge lying on the bedroom floor.

The court heard a week later, detectives questioned him as part of routine door-to-door inquiries in the area where the alleged rape took place.

Asked how he felt when he was later arrested, Mr Chisholm replied: “I thought they were taking the piss. I felt angry and upset.”

Accused in cross-examination of grabbing Davis in the alleyway in the dark and raping her, Mr Chisholm replied: “I never touched her, she knows she’s telling lies.”

Davis was caught out when tests carried out on fibres found on her work fleece proved it had been in direct contact with the duvet cover on Mr Chisholm’s bed – despite her claiming she did not know him and had never been to his flat.

The crucial piece of evidence changed the course of the investigation and Mr Chisholm was immediately released from prison.

When questioned, Davis, who chose not to give evidence at her trial, still maintained her story that she was the victim.

DC Geoff Childs from Sussex Police said when the accusation was made, police thought there was “sufficient evidence” to believe Davis.

He added: “Police continued with extensive forensic tests which eventually proved the complainant was lying.

“Sussex Police regret that a man was held in custody as a result of the complainant’s allegations, and acted immediately to secure his release.”

Frank Chisholm was not in court for the end of the trial but his father Steve, 43, a railway manager, sat at the back of the court as the jury of six men and six women returned their verdict.

He said “My son has now been proved innocent not once, but twice.

“The first time he was still ridiculed by people with a ‘mud sticks’ attitude. He is now 100 per cent proved innocent.

“It was definitely the right decision without a doubt.

“My son has been left absolutely devastated, he will never be the same man. He is a totally different person.

“He is quite subdued and doesn’t want to go out. He stays in and is very careful about women.

“What happens to her doesn’t matter, it’s entirely up to the courts.”

12 October 2006

10-13-2006 07:53 AM

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