Thursday, March 12, 2009

'Crying rape is just an evil thing to do. To me it's just as bad as doing it.'

Bristol rape accused: False claim made my life hell

A recovering addict from Bristol was driven back to drink and drugs after being accused of a rape he did not commit.

Robert Bosley said he struggled to cope with the stigma of being a suspected sex offender.

As previously reported by the Bristol Post, the 38-year-old's former partner Mandy Whittle,
falsely accused him of rape for reasons known only to her.

She later admitted making it up and last week was jailed for eight months for perverting the course of justice.

Speaking exclusively to the Post Mr Bosley, now living in Broadlands Drive, Lawrence Weston, said the rape claim that put his life in limbo for a month.

He admitted he had served several prison sentences for burglary to feed a drug addiction, but had suddenly found himself in the frame for a very different crime.

Whittle, 38, of Park Walk, Pill, told police Mr Bosley forced his way into her home, tore off her clothes and raped her.

Police found a heap of seemingly convincing evidence, from torn underwear to vomit in a washing up bowl and a fresh cut on Whittle.

But Whittle did not consent to a physical examination and said she could not pursue the allegation because of "stress".

Meanwhile Mr Bosley was arrested, put in a cell under constant watch, and subjected to a physical examination by a woman police doctor, having been refused a male nurse, which he said made him feel "violated".

Mr Bosley was interviewed by CID, given bail, and put his life on hold for a month until he was told police were not pursuing the offence.

In December last year he was told he was needed as a witness in a trial because Whittle had been charged with perverting the course of justice – but she pleaded guilty on the day of the hearing.

It was the final stop in a relationship which seemed to start well.

Mr Bosley said: "I met Mandy in 2006, through mutual friends, and it was OK. I'm an ex-heroin addict and when I met her she was an ex-addict, from heroin and crack cocaine.

"I moved in with her at her house in Pill for three or four months but she started telling lies and using drugs. She was getting stoned out of her face and spending the shopping money on drugs.
"I started using drugs on odd occasions. It put a lot of strain on the relationship."

Mr Bosley said the pair of them got into a fight and he "back-handed her" when she went for him.

Police were called, he later pleaded guilty to common assault and, in November 2007, was sent to HMP Bristol in Horfield for just over five months.

When Mr Bosley was released in early 2008 he went to a dry house in Fishponds called Lazarus House, where he began to tackle his addiction and tried to turn his life around before the rape allegation was made in May.

Over the weekend the rape claim was made, Mr Bosley said he had been shopping in Keynsham and to a narcotics anonymous meeting on Saturday followed by more shopping and another meeting on Sunday.

"I got back to Lazarus House around 1.30pm and the police turned up around 2.30pm saying they were arresting me on suspicion of rape," he said.

"My heart was in my mouth. They said it was Mandy Whittle who'd accused me and I told them I hadn't seen her for seven or eight months, I hadn't done anything."

Even though the dry house staff and friends vouched for his whereabouts, Mr Bosley was arrested, taken to Trinity Road police station, put in a cell, examined and interviewed before being released on police bail after six hours.

He said: "The police said I had nothing to worry about and they would investigate it fully.

"For the next month, though, I was getting snide comments from people I didn't even know.

"My friends knew I wasn't capable of doing a thing like that but there were snide remarks because other people were thinking there was no smoke without fire.

"I ended up getting kicked out of Lazarus House when I had a drink because it spannered my head.

"All said and done, for a month it was very stressful, very depressing and my life was in limbo. It was like a big black cloud hanging over me and I hit the bottle a bit and relapsed into drugs."

Mr Bosley believes sense prevailed when Whittle's legal team saw the evidence from people he was with that weekend as well as CCTV and receipts which put him in Keynsham at the time.

He said: "If I wasn't at Lazarus House at the time and with some good people, as opposed to junkies, I could have been remanded in custody for six or seven months on a sex offender's wing. Any good name I could have had would have been taken for the rest of my life.

"Rape is an evil, heinous crime. Being labelled a nonce or a rapist is not very nice. There is a stigma attached to it.

"Crying rape is just an evil thing to do. To me it's just as bad as doing it.

"What concerns me is women who are raped might not come forward because of women like her."

Mr Bosley is now free of heroin but takes a methadone prescription to stay clean. He does have a drink, but says he is not an alcoholic and he does not smoke cannabis.

"Now I want to get myself into a dry house then find my own accommodation, go to college and be a drugs counsellor," he said.

"I think Mandy's eight months should have been a lot longer.

"She's just a no good piece of work and I hope I never see her again."