Eleanor Williams admitted guilty to one count of tampering with the course of justice.
By: Pramod Thomas
A woman who alleged that a group of Asian men had raped and trafficked her was found guilty of perverting the course of justice.
Eleanor Williams, 22, used a hammer to hurt herself before notifying police that an Asian gang in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, had sexually assaulted her since childhood, reported The Telegraph.
In a post that was shared more than 100,000 times on Facebook in May 2020, Williams released images of her wounds and a description of how she had been assaulted, groomed, and trafficked.
Police found her on May 19, 2020, close to her home. She was disoriented and had head wounds, which she claimed were the result of an Asian gang abducting and raping her.
But after uncovering her web of deceit and finding a claw hammer nearby with her blood on it, investigators grew suspicious and accused her of perverting the course of justice.
Police suspect that after viewing the BBC drama Three Girls about the Rochdale grooming gang, she was motivated to make up the allegations.
She said that Mohammed Ramzan, an Asian businessman in the area, was the gang’s boss and that he had forced her to work in a brothel in Amsterdam and Ibiza after trafficking her there.
Williams attempted to frame Ramzan by posting false statements on social media, but when authorities looked into the case, they found that his passport records showed he had not travelled to Amsterdam or Ibiza.
Ramzan claimed he had received hundreds of death threats and that his life had been entirely destroyed.
According to The Telegraph, before detectives learned he had an alibi for the disputed night, Ramzan was detained and spent ten weeks in custody.
Preston Crown Court heard that Williams’ assertions mirrored the plot of the movie Taken starring Liam Neeson.
Her allegations led to unrest in the town, local Indian restaurants were attacked and their windows were smashed. Other Asian businesses were being boycotted.
A local journalist who probed her claims as well as at least one Asian family that lived in the town were compelled to leave their homes after receiving death threats.
The far-right protestors, including Tommy Robinson, the former head of the English Defence League, demonstrated in the town after her social media post went viral.
Police said that she used to send messages to herself that appeared to have been sent by victims or traffickers. She even used real people to send messages saying they were from the alleged criminals.
Detective chief superintendent Dave Stalker from Cumbria Police said Williams’ lies negatively impacted trust in the police.
“Williams baselessly claimed she had been a victim of Asian grooming gangs and named specific individuals as being responsible for trafficking and abusing her – individuals who were found, following a thorough investigation, to have committed no such offences,” he is reported to have said.
“In a number of cases, her claims led to innocent men being arrested by officers who, understandably, took such appalling allegations seriously. In one case a young man was arrested and held on remand.”
Simon Fell, the Tory MP for Barrow and Furness, said the case had fuelled racism in the town and had led to a campaign by far-Right group Patriotic Alternative.
Honorary Recorder of Preston Judge Robert Altham adjourned sentencing to March 13 and 14.