Teesside woman left blind neighbour suicidal after lying that he’d raped her

CCTV proved the man was innocent of rape and his accuser Jade Wass has now been jailed.

A woman left her blind neighbour suicidal after falsely claiming he had raped her.

Lying Jade Wass was locked up on Monday after pleading guilty to perverting the course of justice. Prosecutor Richard Bennett said on July 8, 2020, Wass called police saying she had been attacked by a neighbour whilst camping outside of a home on Teesside.

Mr Bennett said Wass claimed she had been asleep in the tent next to her boyfriend when she was awoken by a man – identified as Mr X in court – straddling her. She claimed he made a cut throat gesture to ensure compliance before attacking her.

The prosecutor said: “Mr X was particularly vulnerable. A police officer was despatched to the address to take an account and Mr X was arrested but then released on bail. The defendant contacted police saying she was very upset he had been released and said she feared for her safety.

“On July 11, the defendant was video interviewed for her full account of the alleged rape. She maintained her false account. However, swabs taken from her identified a match with her partner but there was no forensic link with Mr X. Police checked CCTV and contrary to her account it showed her own partner was outside the tent standing about at the time.”

The court also heard Mr X is registered blind and would not ordinarily leave the house due to his poor eyesight. He also said he had a hand injury at the time which restricted his movement.

Mr Bennett said by January 2021 it was clear to police she had made a false report and on January 4 she was arrested and interviewed but gave no comment.

In a statement to police on April 8, 2021, Mr X said he heard the couple having an argument days prior. He said the defendant’s partner accused her of ‘fancying Mr X and sleeping with him’. He claimed at one point he heard her partner say ‘we’re going to get X, we’re going to do something’.

Mr Bennet said: “When Mr X was arrested for rape he said he felt sick he’d been asleep. He said he felt extremely uncomfortable and embarrassed about having swabs taken by a nurse. The police told Mr X they had to make a referral to social services as he had access to his son. Due to this Mr X had problems with his ex-girlfriend for a few weeks but she eventually let him see his son again, but those initial weeks were extremely hard.”

‘This accusation almost broke me’

A statement given by Mr X laid bare the devastating impact of the false allegations.

He said: “To be labelled as a rapist is one of the worst things imaginable. I had suicidal thoughts due to the accusations not because I felt any guilt as I absolutely didn’t do what she has accused me off but the thought of the impact this malicious accusation has had on my life, mental health and wellbeing.

“I feared I wouldn’t see my son again it was about three months before I could talk my ex around and she allowed me to have access. This accusation almost broke me I’m happy the police are pursuing a case against Jade Wass.”

In mitigation, Simon Walker said all Wass wanted to do ‘was get Mr X to stay away’. He said the defendant has had an extremely traumatic start in life and cares for her boyfriend.

The court also heard she is of previous good character and was suffering with paranoia at the time of the offence. Mr Walker also said that she acted out of character with no thought and has been assessed as a low risk of reoffending.

Judge Howard Crowson sentenced Wass to two years in prison at Teesside Crown Court. She was also handed a restraining order banning contact with Mr X.

Source: www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/teesside-news/