Three-year sentence for false rape claim

A judge yesterday imposed a three-year prison term on a woman who sparked a needless six-week long pursuit for a rapist around Shannon.

The investigation, which included gardaí making 30 separate house calls in Shannon, Co Clare, followed Amanda Hayes falsely reporting to gardaí that she was raped by a man wearing a hoodie in the early hours of St Stephen’s Day in December 2014 at Drumgeely in Shannon.

In her complaint to gardaí, Ms Hayes, aged 26, of Inis Eagla, Shannon, gave a graphic account of the supposed rape.

In sentencing Ms Hayes to the three years, of which the final 18 months are suspended, Judge Gerald Keys told Ennis Circuit Court yesterday that the mother of two that, through her false report, had subjected people who were interviewed by gardaí as part of the investigation “to damage and hurt”.

Asked was she raped, Ms Hayes replied “no”. Asked why she reported the rape, she replied: “I don’t know why I said, I really don’t. I am sorry for what I said.”

Mark Nicholas, defending, said Ms Hayes’s false allegation was borne out of addiction rather than malice and that she did not make a complaint against any named individual.


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