Eleanor Williams received an eight and a half year sentence of imprisonment for perverting the course of justice. Williams falsely claimed she was ‘groomed by an Asian gang, drugged, raped and forced to work as a prostitute.’
The allegations were made famous as a result of a Facebook post in May 2020 that was shared over 100,000 times. The post included a photo of a badly bruised Williams, alleging the injuries to be a result of the abuse she is alleged to have endured. This was followed by ‘months of anger, fear, and acts of vandalism in her hometown of Barrow-in-Furness,’ and racial tensions throughout the UK. Tommy Robinson, founder of the English Defence League, was in the town after “public displays of mass anger.”
The police suspected Williams’ ‘wild allegations of violent rapes and sexual trafficking overseas had been fabricated and that she had beaten herself with a hammer to support her claims.’ CCTV footage later proved the injuries to have indeed been self-inflicted. Williams accused one of the men to have trafficked her to Amsterdam when she was 12, but the man’s bank card was being used in Barrow at the time. Williams also stated she was taken to Blackpool and raped by multiple men. A video later showed that she was in Blackpool alone, watching Youtube in her room.
Mohammed Ramzan, one of the accused, received death threats, had his car windows smashed, and his businesses ruined. He attempted suicide after his arrest as a result. ‘I’m not sure how my family and I are going to recover from this,’ Ramzan stated after Williams’ hearing. ‘The mud sticks and I fear it may take some time.’
Two other accused men attempted suicide, and one lost ‘tens of thousands of pounds in business’ as a result of the allegations. He was chased down by people, was racially abused, and had alcohol poured over him.
Jordan Tengrove was arrested and remanded for 10 weeks as a result of the allegations. The word “rapist” was painted across his house, and his window was smashed. He is bringing action against Cumbria police for their failure to investigate strong alibis in the case. Police later realised he could not have raped Williams, as at the time of the alleged offence he was being held in the back of one of their vans for an unrelated row at a taxi rank. He urged the police to ‘listen to the accused men as well as the woman making the complaint.’
In her trial, the court heard that Williams “capitalised” on real cases where men of south Asian descent were convicted of grooming and sex abuse charges. ‘I’m sure she chose to lie about Asian men because she was modelling her lies on other cases of national prominence,” Judge Robert Altham said. ‘She regarded the prospects of being believed as greater if she based them on cases already in the public consciousness.’
‘If I knew what consequences would have come from that status I never would have posted it,’ Williams stated. ‘I’m not saying I’m guilty but I know I have done wrong on some of this and I’m sorry.’ Williams maintains her allegations are true.