Woman lied to police over ‘rape’

Edinburgh Sheriff Court

Edinburgh Sheriff Court

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A MARRIED woman who had consensual sex with a taxi driver sparked a police investigation after claiming the man had raped her.

Chantel Clark, 36, prompted officers to launch a major inquiry – costing £3000 – after claiming she had been sexually assaulted by the cabbie in Midlothian in May 2014.

Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard how the man was arrested and charged with rape. He appeared in court before Clark admitted she had had told a lie.

The court heard how the man, who wasn’t named, has faced marriage problems since Clark came forward.

He has also had problems with his taxi licence.

The story emerged after Clark, from Dalkeith, pleaded guilty to a charge of falsely making a rape claim.

Depute procurator fiscal Brent Bissett told the court that Clark had sex with the man after he picked her up in his taxi at 3.20am on May 11, 2014.

When she got home, she told her husband that the driver had sexually assaulted her.

Detectives were then contacted and Clark, a first offender, told them lies about what had happened.

Mr Bissett said: “The police arrested the man and charged him with rape. He appeared in court the following day.”

Clark then contacted the police to retract her confession the day after the alleged attack.

Mr Bissett added: “She admitted to officers that she had been lying and that the sexual intercourse had been consensual. She told officers that she wished to retract her confession.

“She told officers that she had felt awful about what she had done and wished to apologise to everybody concerned.”

Police then arrested and charged Clark with making a false allegation and preventing the police from investigating actual crime.

Mr Bissett told the court: “He [the cabbie] has said that there have been issues with regards to his marriage and business issues with regards to his taxi licence.”

The court heard that Clark told police officers: “I feel so ashamed. I have been unable to sleep or eat. I want to apologise for the problems I have caused.”

Defence solicitor advocate Andrew Houston told the court the matter had “snowballed” out of her control but that she had attempted to make amends.

Sheriff Alistair Noble deferred sentence on Clark for the court to obtain reports.

He warned her that she could be sent to prison, adding: “All options are obviously open.” Clark will be sentenced at the court on April 14.

newsen@edinburghnews.com