Published Wednesday, 14 May 2014
Police investigated the allegation twice. (© UTV)
Judge Desmond Marrinan told June Plunkett that to make false allegations about any crime was serious enough, but to claim to have been raped was even more serious as it put at risk the credibility of women who had truly been raped or sexually assaulted.
It was, added the Antrim Crown Court judge, also a matter of concern to the courts as to why such false claims could be made.
Plunkett, whose address was given as Angus Street, Antrim was to have gone on trial on Wednesday for perverting the course of justice between September 2006 and February 2011, by falsely reporting to police that she had been raped on 9 September, 2006.
However, defence lawyer Michael Brady asked for the charge to be put to her again.
Following her guilty plea, Judge Marrinan warned Plunkett: "Let there be no doubt in your mind that this type of offence very often carries a custodial sentence."
However, he added that there may be other matters or something in her psyche, of which he knew nothing, which may form a background to her crime, and that reports may explain why she should behave in such a fashion, and wasted so much police time.
Judge Marrinan said later that fortunately in this case no one was arrested or had to bear the brunt of such an allegation or forced to "languish in prison."
However, he repeated that such conduct "cannot be tolerated" by the courts as it damaged the credibility of other, real victims.
Earlier, prosecution lawyer George Chesney said that on 9 September 2006, Plunkett claimed she was walking along Stiles Way in Antrim when she was attacked from behind by an armed man who forced her to the ground.
He then straddled her and "using a blade or razor blade" slashed her across the chest and abdomen, before raping her.
Although Plunkett later made a video-taped police interview, officers noticed there were inconsistencies in her story.
Mr Chesney said that although a DNA sample was matched to a man, it was later accepted that he had had consensual sex with the woman sometime before the alleged attack.
The lawyer added that no one was made amenable in 2006, which sparked a second police investigation in 2011 during which her injuries were looked at again and it was concluded they were, or could have been self-inflicted and "that this rape had not happened".
Mr Brady, for Plunkett, said that in addition to the pre-sentence report, he would also be obtaining medical and psychiatric reports for the court.
Plunkett, originally from England, was released on continuing bail to return to her home in Blackpool, until her sentencing next month.
© UTV News