Eastern Eye (UK)

Woman gets prison term for false rape claims against Asians



A WOMAN has been jailed for eight-and-ahalf years after being found guilty of falsely claiming to have been raped and trafficked by an Asian grooming gang.

Eleanor Williams (right) posted photograph­s on Facebook showing her covered in bruises, with a black eye and a partially severed finger. The 22-year-old claimed she was forced to attend “sex parties” by “clever” Asian men, mostly Pakistani business owners.

Her allegation­s quickly spread beyond Cumbria, sparking a global campaign called Justice for Ellie, which had more than 100,000 Facebook members and even its own line of merchandis­e featuring a purple elephant.

The claims led to rallies across the UK, with allegation­s of a police cover-up.

On Tuesday (14), Williams was found guilty of nine counts of perverting the course of justice and accused of inflicting the wounds herself using a hammer.

Justice Altham at Preston crown court said her claims were “complete fiction” and criticised her for failing to show significan­t remorse.

The court heard that three men tried to take their own lives after being falsely accused by Williams of rape and traffickin­g.

One of the men, Oliver Gardner, had simply asked her for a light in the street. Another man, Jordan Trengove, spent 73 days in prison on remand after being falsely accused of raping and drugging Williams at knifepoint.

Her most severe allegation­s were targeted at Barrow businessma­n Mohammed Ramzan, now 43. Williams falsely accused him of being the head of an internatio­nal grooming gang who first had sex with her at the age of 12 or 13, and then trafficked her and numerous other girls around northwest England and abroad.

Ramzan, who stated he had only met Williams briefly at a family party, said the lies had made his life “hell on earth”.

“I'm not sure how my family and I are going to recover from this,” added Ramzan.

“It's concerning because there's still people on social media and this goes to the far-right element of people who are still portraying this actually exists and this happened and it hasn't.

“The mud sticks and I fear it may take some time. But as a family we remain strong, and we are determined to move forward positively with our lives.

“It's impacted us all in different ways but we've got to think about moving forward.”

The owners of Indian restaurant­s in Burrow faced a series of window-smashing incidents, which were allegedly instigated by a circulatin­g Snapchat list that purported to identify the businesses involved in Williams' abuse.

A Muslim restaurant owner, who requested anonymity, reported losing at least £80,000 in business after being named on the list. His orders plummeted from 70-80 per night to two or three, and he was pursued down the street by individual­s on skateboard­s who hurled racial slurs and sprayed beer in his face.

On Tuesday, Williams wrote a letter to the judge, maintainin­g her innocence, but expressing remorse and devastatio­n over the impact her Facebook post had on Barrow.

“I understand that it's your job to believe the jury's verdict and that's OK. I know I have made some mistakes, I'm sorry. I know it's no excuse but I was young and confused,” she wrote.

“I'm not saying I'm guilty, but I know I have done wrong on some of this and I'm sorry.

“I'm devastated at the trouble that has been caused in Barrow. If I knew what consequenc­es would have come from that status, I never would have posted it.”

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