Susan Stewart falsely accused a man of raping her in Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire. The court heard that this was an act of revenge. 

She told police that she had been sexually assaulted on the 16th of December 2018 by a man who had been following her. However, the court heard that she had made up the story after she found out that he wanted to date her cousin. When Stewart had become aware that her relative had visited the man she sent him a text message saying, “well, we will see what the police have to say”.

The sentencing sheriff imposed a custodial sentence of 14 months for wasting police time. Sheriff Wallace explained that a custodial sentence was the only appropriate disposal in the circumstances. 

An appeal against sentence was lodged on Ms Stewart’s behalf. It was submitted on her behalf that the sheriff could have impose a non-custodial sentence. However, the appeal court determined that the sheriff had not erred in imposing a custodial sentence. However, the judges stated that the sentence imposed was excessive and they reduced the sentence to nine months. 

Lord Woolman stated: “The sheriff considered the appellant’s behaviour as flagrant. She has not expressed remorse. He also considered the impact on the complainer who said that his personal and family relationships were affected by this arrest.”