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Solicitor General welcomes jail sentence for Shrewsbury false rape claims woman

By Dominic Robertson | Shrewsbury | Crime | Published:

The Solicitor General has welcomed the decision to overturn a Shrewsbury woman’s community order for false claims of rape and instead jail her for four years.

Anna Costin

Anna Judith Costin, 30, of Coldridge Drive, Shrewsbury, was initially given a three-year community sentence for the crimes at Shrewsbury Crown Court earlier this year.

She had admitted seven counts of perverting the course of justice.

Costin separately accused three men of rape attacks, and a fourth of physically assaulting her in her own home.

London’s Appeal Court heard one of her victims was able to rubbish her claims with a “cast-iron alibi”.

The Solicitor General, Robert Buckland QC MP, referred her sentence to the Court of Appeal for being too low. Mr Buckland said it was vital that Costin’s sentence reflected the severity of her crimes – and the effect on her victims’ lives.

He said: “False rape allegations have a serious impact not only on the lives of the accused, but can also have an indirect but profoundly damaging effect on genuine victims of rape. It is important that Costin’s sentence reflects the gravity of her crimes.”

All three men accused of rape had to undergo intrusive medical examinations, and one of them was said to be particularly vulnerable due to his mental state.

Costin’s false complaints were levelled against her victims between January and March 2016.

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The offences followed a similar pattern, said Lady Justice Hallett.

Her case reached the Appeal Court as lawyers for the Attorney General, Jeremy Wright QC, attacked her sentence as “unduly lenient”.

Lady Justice Hallett, sitting with two other judges, noted Costin’s “extensive history of mental health difficulties”.

But she also highlighted the “insidious” nature of her crimes, which had a deeply traumatic impact on her four victims.

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Lady Justice Hallett substituted a four-year prison sentence for the community order.

Costin was ordered to surrender to police custody in Shrewsbury by noon yesterday to start her sentence.

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