Irthlingborough woman jailed for perverting the course of justice over false allegations
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A woman who repeatedly lied to police about her ex-partner, resulting in him being arrested multiple times, has been jailed for more than three years after admitting perverting the course of justice.
On September 11, 2020, Sinead Nelson, also known as Kylie Howard, made a report to Northamptonshire Police alleging her ex-partner had contacted her via instant messaging app Snapchat and threatened to rape and kill her, as well as threatening her children.
On November 3 she made a second report alleging the man had again threatened to kill her, and the following day told officers he had sent a further message with a photo of her home, threatening to turn up there to rape her and kill her by burning her alive.
Officers took her reports seriously due to the extremely graphic nature of the threats, and as a result her ex-partner was swiftly arrested, with Nelson, now aged 28, rehoused as an emergency case and given a new phone.
However, as officers progressed their investigation, they quickly found Nelson’s accounts did not hold weight – including that the photo of her home that she claimed to have been sent by the man had actually been lifted from the property website Zoopla.
Her ex-partner, who denied all the offences, also provided details to support his innocence that officers were able to independently corroborate.
Within days of Nelson’s initial report, officers in Northamptonshire had also spoken to colleagues in London’s Metropolitan Police, who confirmed she was already under investigation there after making two reports against the same man that July and August, before she moved to Northamptonshire, alleging rape, assault, and malicious communications via Snapchat and email.
Although the man had been initially arrested there too, elements of Nelson’s reports began to raise officers’ suspicions, and when they examined her phone for evidence, they found it had been put through a factory reset.
Despite this, they were able to discover that the device had been used to log into a Snapchat account Nelson had claimed her ex was using to threaten her, indicating that she had been sending the messages to herself.
The two police investigations were dovetailed, and following submissions to the Crown Prosecution Service, Nelson went on to be charged with one count of intending to pervert the course of public justice, namely making false allegations and destroying evidence concerning a police investigation between July 9 and November 6, 2020.
Having entered a guilty plea at a previous court appearance, Nelson, of Victoria Street, Irthlingborough, appeared before Northampton Crown Court last Tuesday, October 3, 2023, where she was sentenced to 37 months’ imprisonment.
Speaking afterwards, investigating officer Detective Constable Eleanor Hudson of Northamptonshire Police, said: “Over five months in 2020, Sinead Nelson put her former partner through hell by claiming to be a victim of sexual violence, abuse and threats at his hands, when in fact she had been creating false accounts using his name and hacking into his email to send herself abusive and threatening messages.
“These included shocking threats of violent rape, serious assault, arson and child destruction, and also appeared to indicate stalking as well. As a result, Nelson was initially treated as a high-risk domestic abuse victim and at serious risk of murder, resulting in emergency safeguarding measures being put in place.
“However it didn’t take long for us to find digital and physical evidence to prove this man could not have been responsible for the things she claimed, and her lies about him began to unravel – but not before he had been put through the distressing experience of being arrested and questioned on four separate occasions.
“In his victim statement, the man detailed the horrendous impact this has all had on him, including considerable emotional distress about what he had been accused of, the loss of friendships and family support as a result, having to leave his home, and losing his job – all against the backdrop of Covid, which further exacerbated his isolation.
“He told us that Nelson had threatened to destroy his life, and in his view, she succeeded. I very much hope that now she has admitted her guilt and has been given a prison sentence, he is able to continue moving towards a more positive future.
“Finally this case also shows just how seriously the police take reports of domestic abuse, sexual violence and threats to kill – and how serious the consequences are for those who decide to make false and malicious allegations of this nature. Real survivors have nothing to fear, but those who try to play the justice system for their own ends should know that they will be brought to account for their lies.”
**This report has been released with the support of the victim in this case**
If you have been affected by a crime, report it by calling 101, or going online at www.northants.police.uk/RO. In an emergency, always call 999.
Advice and support for survivors of sexual abuse, including information on reporting options, is available here.