Gavel (illustration)
Gavel (illustration) iStock

A British court sentenced a 25-year-old woman to 10 years in prison after she made false rape accusations against more than a dozen men, landing one of the targets of her claims in prison and earning her thousands of dollars in court-ordered compensation.

Jemma Beale, a resident of Bedfont in London, was found guilty in July of perjury and perversion of justice by the Southwark Crown Court.

On Wednesday, Beale was sentenced to 10 years in prison, after Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith blasted her for “grotesque” lies which both harmed innocent men – and made it more likely that future complaints by women of rape and sexual assault would not be believed, The Telegraph reported.

"These false allegations of rape, false allegations which will inevitably be widely publicized, are likely to have the perverse impact of increasing the likelihood of guilty men going free,” Loraine-Smith said.

"Cases such as this bring a real risk that a woman who has been raped or sexually assaulted may not complain to the police for fear of not being believed."

According to the court, Beale accused nine different men of rape and six more of sexual assault over a period spanning three years beginning in November 2010.

One man falsely accused by Beale was convicted and sentenced to a prison term, serving two years and nine months for a crime he never committed. Beale, on the other hand, received 11,000 pounds ($14,085) in compensation for the fictitious rape.

Authorities say they wasted more than 6,400 hours of work and a quarter of a million pounds ($320,000) investigating her 15 separate claims.

In reaching the guilty verdict, the court found that Beale was motivated to fabricate her accusations out of a desire of sympathy and “enjoyed being seen as a victim,” the judge said, as well as the need for more attention from her girlfriend.

In one case, Beale accused an innocent man of sexually assaulting her in a London pub before raping her in a nearby parking lot.

In reality, as footage from security cameras showed, Beale assaulted the man she later accused of rape, then walked home alone.

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