A Brazilian student has been given a three-month suspended sentence and a €600 fine for an "elaborate hoax" in which she claimed she had been raped by two men in Dublin.
Thais Regina De Oliveira, aged 21, who had been residing with her boyfriend and other flatmates at Cabra Park in Dublin, pleaded guilty yesterday to making a false statement to officers at Mountjoy Garda Station on August 25 last.
She claimed that two men attacked her and gave a detailed description leading to a 12-day manhunt, a photo-fit being passed out, and technical examinations.
Yesterday at Dublin District Court, Judge Anthony Halpin described her crime as wicked, heinous, and depraved and said these offences deter real victims from coming forward. However, he ruled that a jail sentence was not appropriate in this case.
He also praised the “outstanding work” of Det Garda Kevin Keyes and his colleagues at Mountjoy Station, saying that their response to the incident sets a precedent for other police forces.
The student’s lies came after she had been under financial pressure to pay her way and she pretended she had found a job. Her lawyer said she really spent some nights “wandering the streets”, having let on she had gone to work, but on the night of the offence, it was raining heavily and she needed an excuse to go home.
The English-language student could not tell her friends she had been robbed as she had already left her phone and her wallet in the house, so instead inflicted injuries on herself and told her friends that she had been raped.
Defence counsel Keith Spencer said she had not intended for gardaí to become involved. However, once her friends heard her story, “the genie was out of the bottle” and they alerted Mountjoy Station, which dispatched officers within five minutes.
In evidence, Det Gda Kevin Keyes told Judge Halpin he received a report to go to a flat in Cabra where he met De Oliveira.
“She alleged that she had been assaulted, dragged down a lane-way at Cabra Park and subsequently raped,” he said.
After 12 days of investigation, in which more than 140 lines of enquiry were conducted and involving various offices, “she admitted to investigating gardaí that in fact she had lied”.
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