Woman guilty of lying about Asian 'grooming gang'
A 22-year-old woman who claimed she had been abused by an Asian 'grooming gang' was found guilty of perverting the course of justice.
Prosecutors called Eleanor Williams, from Barrow-in-Furnes, a liar and said she had ruined people's lives.
Her social media claims in 2020 that she was groomed, trafficked and beaten, caused outrage.
It sparked far-right groups to gain a foothold in the port town and led to a visit from former EDL leader Tommy Robinson. The claims prompted a "justice for Ellie" trend online and provided fodder for racists on social media.
But the jury found that instead of being a victim, Williams caused her own injuries and uploaded pictures of her bruised and battered body online.
Prosecution counsel Jonathan Sandiford KC described the defendant as "a serial liar".
“The defendant goes online to her social media contacts and effectively finds random names on the internet she presents as being victims of trafficking or perpetrators,” he said.
The jury at Preston Crown Court found her guilty of eight counts of doing acts tending and intended to pervert the course of justice. She could now be sent to prison.
Damaged community relations
The whole saga damaged community relations and led to a sharp rise in racism and Islamophobia.
The windows of curry houses were broken, restaurants were boycotted, and a Muslim takeaway owner was chased and had alcohol poured over his head by a group of men. As a result, some men and their families were forced to leave the town.
According to some on social media, right-wing agitators used the incident to further their own agenda and even hounded out of a journalist for reporting on the case.
Wendy Lloyd, Senior Crown Prosecutor with CPS North West’s rape and serious sexual offence unit said: “Eleanor Williams maliciously and persistently made false accusations against several men who had the misfortune of being acquainted with her.
“She knew what she was doing each time and made these false allegations intending that these men would be investigated, potentially prosecuted or even imprisoned as a result of her actions. One man was in prison on remand for over two months as a result of her accusations.
“The impact on those falsely accused has been devastating and this conviction now fully exonerates the men who she accused of serious sexual abuse.
“Each of Eleanor Williams’s accusations were thoroughly investigated, until it became clear that they were completely and incontrovertibly untrue and made with malevolent intent.”
Image: Preston Crown Court (Google Images)
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