A POLICEWOMAN broke down in tears as she was jailed for four months for falsely claiming that prosecutors had dropped a rape case.
Pc Hannah Notley told the alleged victim, as well as her superiors at Essex Police, that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) had decided not to pursue the case, when she had never passed the file to them in the first place.
Notley was jailed at Southwark Crown Court in London after previously pleading guilty to a charge of misconduct in public office between July 6, 2011 and April 21, 2012.
The 30-year-old, from Benfleet in Essex, broke down as she was sentenced, saying “I love you” to her family as she was led away.
Prosecutor Zoe Martin told the court that after Notley was assigned to the case of alleged rape in July 2011, the alleged perpetrator was arrested.
When Notley was later asked what had happened, she told a superior the CPS had decided not to pursue it. It was logged on the police system as having “no further action” (NFA) and Notley even told the alleged victim CPS lawyers had decided to drop the case.
Prosecutor Miss Martin said: “In reality, Ms Notley had not submitted the file to the CPS and no lawyer had been allocated to the case, and clearly it follows that no decision had been made by the CPS.”
In February last year, Notley told the complainant the CPS had dropped the case because she had reported it too late so there was no physical evidence.
“She (the complainant) was clearly upset because it implied that the NFA decision to some extent was her fault for reporting the rape late in the day,” Miss Martin said.
The matter only came to light after an independent adviser allocated to the complainant pursued the matter and it transpired that the CPS had never been sent the file. When Notley realised the truth was coming out, she made a full confession.
The rape allegation was re-investigated and the alleged perpetrator has now been charged.
Miss Martin said: “The alleged victim states that on the evening that she was telephoned by Ms Notley to say that there was no further action, she tried to take her own life.”
The woman had been devastated Notley had lied and it had ruined her trust in the police.
“To find out that she couldn’t and she was wrong about that, she said it’s put her through days of hell, in particular thinking that the alleged perpetrator had just walked away from what he had done.”
Judge Alistair McCreath told her: “You let down the wider public, but in particular you let down the complainant in the case yet to be tried. I know you are at heart a decent and kind person but that was a very cruel thing to do.”
In mitigation, Allan Compton, told the court she had been deeply depressed at the time but it was not her intention to “bury this investigation completely”.