Zoe Williams was jailed for falsely accusing her ex-boyfriend of rape and hacking into his Facebook account in order to send a "threatening message" to herself that would add credence to her claim.
Williams and her boyfriend had split in 2007, and in 2009 Williams told police that her former partner had raped her several times. The man was arrested after Williams brought forth a Facebook message threatening her if she did not drop the rape charges. After police seized her computer, they discovered that Williams had sent the message to herself.
According to This Is The West Country, Ed Boyce, Williams' lawyer, told the court that Williams fabricated the message herself when she felt police were not taking her allegations seriously. "[S]he decided to invent this message and sent it to herself in the hope that it would strengthen her complaint," Boyce said. "In fact, it has done completely the opposite."
Williams, the Telegraph reports, came before the court and admitted to "attempting to pervert the course of justice."
Judge Graham Hume Jones sentenced Williams, who is married and has a baby, to four months in jail. "What you did was particularly wicked," he admonished. "People have to realize that however strong their feelings and emotions may be they mustn't interfere with the course of justice and particularly mustn't make false allegations."
This is hardly the first instance of Facebook "defamation." Recently, a father of three told the BCC that his life was upended when an angry neighbor posted his name on a Facebook vigilante group that exposes pedophiles. Police had the neighbor pay a small fine "for sending false messages", but the accused man faced humiliation and harassment both at work and in his neighborhood.
"I had to leave my job," he said, "It was too much to cope with, she had posted where I worked and I was getting constant abuse."