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Crying woman accused British soldier of rape after he comforted her outside nightclub

Phillipa Costello faces jail time as a court discovered that she lied about being raped by a British soldier who comforted her while she cried outside a nightclub

by The Commentator on 28 June 2013 12:25

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A British soldier arrested on suspicion of rape has told of how his life was ruined after his accuser falsified the allegations, a fact backed up by CCTV footage.

The young father spoke of how his relationship fell apart after Philippa Costello, a woman who the soldier comforted outside a nightclub as she cried, accused him of the attack in April 2011.

The soldier was arrested after the claim was made, and had to wait two months until the investigation was dropped. His accuser even continued with her lie as CCTV footage made it evident that her claims were untrue.

The Northern Echo reports that Costello did not confess her lies until she was due to go on trial last month on a charge an of intending to pervert the course of justice.

Her barrister, Alun Jones, told the court: "She felt stuck in a track. When she found herself in that hole, she kept digging, and she regrets that."

Judge Michael Taylor told Costello: "It is a tragedy for you to be standing before me in court today . . . I regret to say a prison sentence is inevitable.

"Regrettably, offences like this are not uncommon and a clear message has got to be sent out by the courts that those who make such allegations leading to the arrest and detention of perfectly innocent people must be marked out by way of being punished."

The court heard that Costello accused the squaddie after his friend "rather ungallantly" spurned her advances after meeting in a nightclub, leading the soldier to comfort Costello outside as she cried. 

Her barrister, Mr Jones continued: "She accepts it is a serious offence but it was not a premeditated act. It was a spur of the moment act committed in drink."

In an impact statement, the soldier said that his relationship breakdown meant he no longer sees his daughter as often as he used to.

"It was not long before everyone I knew knew I had been arrested," he says. "That's when the name-calling began, and I got very stressed.

"I felt this was a personal attack, especially when it was from someone I didn't know. I don't think my parter 100 per cent believed me.

"Since my arrest my life has changed considerably as a direct result. The is a stigma attached to people alleged to have committed these offences.

"It may be years before I can remove that stigma."

Costello, of Ivy Cottage, Dishforth, who has no previous convictions, admitted the charge, and wept as she was jailed.

Read more on: rape and justice
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