MALDON: Mum-to-be Sabrina Johnson jailed for a year for crying rape
A MUM-TO-BE whose lies wasted hundreds of hours of police time has been jailed for crying rape.
Sabrina Johnson, 25 – who grew up in Maldon – fabricated a detailed story about being raped to protect her job after taking part in drunken sex games with three strangers and turning up to work with a hangover.
But she was forced to admit her lies after one of the men she had sex with revealed she had instigated and consented to the orgy – and had recorded her saying so on his phone.
Judge Anthony Goldstaub QC jailed her for 12 months at Chelmsford Crown Court on Friday after she had previously pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice.
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"This was an allegation of a terrifying nature," he said.
"There was heightened public fear of rapists – an atmosphere of fear that was created wholly unnecessarily."
Judge Goldstaub told Johnson: "You have discredited justice, the truth has been violated and the moral fabric of the community has also been damaged.
"Bogus allegations worsen the plight of genuine rape victims and deter them from coming forward.
"Every false accusation of rape has an insidious effect on the public, and allows doubt to creep into juries where no doubt should exist."
Prosecuting Samantha Lawther told the court that on June 4 Johnson had downed five gin and tonics, a glass of wine and sambuca shots on a night out in Chelmsford before she met several men in the street.
They invited her in for a drink and played drinking games before she performed oral sex on three of the men.
"You had sexual relations with them and played some kind of sex game," said Judge Goldstaub.
"One of the males – a prudent gentleman – recorded your consent on his mobile phone, including your image.
"But for his doing so he would have been very likely in deep trouble."
She woke with a hangover at 5am the next morning.
She was due to start work at 6am, but didn't turn up until 12.45pm, which is when her lies began.
She told police that two men had dragged her into the Marconi nature reserve in Central Park, Chelmsford, and raped her, and was given a medical exam and a video interview.
Johnson took police officers to the park to show them where the "attack" took place, and even appeared distressed as she told them how the rapists forced her to perform oral sex.
She also showed them a path where she claimed a group of women passed by scaring her attackers off.
Twenty-one officers spent 311 hours investigating at a cost of £6,753 to the taxpayer.
Yellow witness boards were put up appealing for the public's help and undercover police were sent to patrol the park to allay community fears.
Forensic samples were taken at the scene, CCTV footage was obtained, and an e-fit of one of the "rapists" was even prepared, which resembled one of the men.
Police said that the man in the e-fit would have been arrested if he hadn't come forward with the recording of her consent.
"The men had to make statements and supply their DNA to police officers, and it must have been a frightening experience, particularly for the man you identified," said Judge Goldstaub.
"All he could say was that you had consented, but defendants often say so in rape cases, and juries are often invited not to believe them.
"The effects on the victim wrongly accused can be appalling, and might well have been in this case."
Mitigating Peter Barlex said she remembered giving oral sex the next morning, but couldn't remember how it came about, and only made the complaint after being encouraged to by her ex-partner and colleagues.
He also claimed that Johnson's behaviour had been affected by a diet, which restricts her to 410 calories a day and prohibits solid food.
In a statement, Johnson admitted that she was angry with herself – admitting that when she drinks she gets flirtatious – and apologised to Essex Police and all the real victims of rape.