Would-be glamour girl who cried rape to clear drug debt is jailed for 18 months
'Wicked' scam: Samantha Merry, 21, claimed she had been sexually assaulted to clear her £3,000 drug debt
A young woman who had ambitions of becoming a glamour model falsely accused a man of raping her as part of a ‘wicked’ scam to clear her £3,000 drug debt.
Samantha Merry, 21, claimed that she had been sexually assaulted by the man in a brutal attack which allegedly happened in front of a group of people.
Her victim was arrested in front of his partner and their children at 4am and driven to a police station where intimate swabs were taken and he was held in a cell for 23 hours.
He remained on bail for 15 weeks with the threat of a lengthy jail term hanging over him while officers investigated the allegations.
Merry, of Great Baddow, near Chelmsford, Essex, is believed to have made up the allegation after her drug dealer offered to cancel the debt if she took action against the man because he had a grudge against him.
It was only after CCTV footage came to light that proved the man could not have attacked Merry that he was cleared, Chelmsford Crown Court heard.
Merry, an office junior, admitted perverting the course of justice and was jailed for 18 months yesterday.
Judge Anthony Goldstaub, QC, told her: ‘Your motivation was entirely for your financial benefit in exchange for the victim’s imprisonment.
‘As a result, your victim’s life became the stuff of which nightmares are made. He remained under suspicion and on bail, expecting prosecution and fearing imprisonment for this crime.’
Judge Goldstaub told her that her lies could stop genuine rape victims coming forward for fear they would not be believed.
The court heard that Merry claimed she was attacked on March 3 this year.
She made a detailed 13-page statement, leading to a case that cost Essex Police thousands of pounds, including 235 man hours and £3,700 on forensic tests.
CCTV footage later revealed that she had lied and on June 14 she was arrested.
Richard Stevens, prosecuting, said: ‘She said she had a drugs debt of £3,000 involving crack cocaine. The dealer had told her to accuse the victim of rape and it was her hope that doing so might wipe her debt.’
Paul Donnegan, defending, said his client had no previous criminal record and had suffered abuse in the street since she admitted to lying.
But the judge turned down pleas to spare her prison, saying it was a ‘careful and wicked deception’.
He added: ‘Some might say if you try to send someone to prison for five or six years you really deserve to go to prison yourself. The effect on the victim is appalling. It was premeditated and mercenary.’
Merry uses the nickname Sexy Sam on her Myspace page on which she writes: ‘Before I met my boyfriend I wanted to get in to some kind of modeling [sic]’.
She adds that her ambition is to meet Katie Price.
After the case, Chief Inspector Joe Wrigley said: ‘Justice has been done and I hope it serves as a warning to anyone who would want to make a false allegation.’