Started by Sir Percy, Mar 24, 2006, 11:32 PM
A false allegation or report to police is an offence under section 24 of the Summary Offences Act and punishable by three months imprisonment or a fine not exceeding $2000. Should the false complaint proceed to an evidential stage in Court, then the seriousness of the offending increases to include such charges under the Crimes Act as perjury, and attempting to pervert the course of justice.
In a rare case last August, a 44-year-old Waikato woman was sentenced to five months jail at the Tauranga District Court for making false complaints that she was raped by a man and sexually assaulted by his colleague.
But even if a complainant has a history of telling untruths or shows signs of being out of touch with reality, the police acting national crime manager Win van der Velde suggests that they should be taken just as seriously as an allegation from anyone else. However, he does suggest more diligence is required especially in verifying the detail around the complainant's allegation.
Irrespective of the existence of false complaints, Jan Jordan thinks it is "incredibly difficult to get the guilty convicted, let alone wrongfully convict the innocent''.