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Barrow: Woman’s fake rape claims led to three men attempt suicide

Woman's fake rape claims

Eleanor Williams, 22, faked rape allegations and said she was a victim of an Asian grooming gang (Picture: Facebook)

Three men tried to take their own lives after a woman lied about being raped, a court has heard.

Eleanor Williams claimed she had been the victim of an Asian grooming gang in February 2020 and accused a number of men of rape in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria.

The 22-year-old published photos of injuries on Facebook, which the prosecution said she inflicted herself with a hammer.

Her lies led to protests in the town and she was found guilty of perverting the course of justice earlier this year.

Mohammed Ramzan, a business owner who was accused of grooming Williams, told Preston Crown Court how his life was made ‘hell on earth’.

He tried to take his own life two weeks after being arrested and, speaking through the tears, said: ‘I still bear the scars to this day.’

His home was damaged and his business ‘ruined’ when he and his family were targeted ‘in the most horrendous way’.

Eleanor Williams

The prosecution say Williams attacked herself with a hammer (Picture: Facebook)

‘I have had countless death threats made over social media from people all over the world because of what they thought I was involved in,’ he said.

Jordan Trengove said the word ‘rapist’ had been spray-painted across his home and his window was smashed, after he was accused by Williams.

When he was charged, Mr Trengrove had to share a cell with a sex offender for 73 days.

‘Things had calmed down a bit until the Facebook post in 2020,’ he said.

‘This made things even worse for me. There were big protests and marches in Barrow.

‘The lowest point was when I tried to end my life in August 2020.’

A general view of Preston Crown Court, Preston.

She is due to be sentenced for nine offences at Preston Crown Court on Tuesday (Picture: PA)

Oliver Gardner had to be sectioned under the Mental Health Act as a result of William’s accusations.

He described the ‘shock’ when Cumbria Police contacted him about the alleged rape.

He said: ‘It was just a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. This whole period in my life has been totally overwhelming.’

In a statement, he said he tried to end his life before he was sectioned.

The first man accused, Cameron Bibby, had to remove himself from social media and was scared to pick his son up from nursery.

After Williams posted about the incident, neighbours displayed ‘Justice for Ellie’ stickers on their windows, which made him feel intimidated.

The jury were shown videos of English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson attending some of the protests in May 2020.

Superintendent Matthew Pearman said: ‘Barrow had not seen such public displays of mass anger for over 30 years.’

The court heard there were 151 extra crimes following the Facebook post, including 83 hate crimes.

Some businesses were forced to close and people had to leave their homes over the furore.

Williams, of Teasdale Road, Barrow, is expected to be sentenced on Tuesday for nine offences.

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