Roger Beardmore

Three years

THE TIMES
15 December 2001
Prisoner cleared after
girl admits rape lie

By Laura Peek

A farmer's son who was jailed for nine years for the rape of a young girl has been cleared after she admitted that she lied to get her mother's attention.

Roger Beardmore, 37, who has served more than three years of his sentence, had his conviction overturned by the Court of Appeal. The girl, now 14, told police that she made up the allegations. "I have put a man in prison for no reason," she said.

Mr Beardmore, from Stoke-on-Trent, was convicted of rape and attempted rape by Stafford Crown Court in March 1998. The Court of Appeal judges found that there was "no material" to uphold his conviction after the withdrawal of the girl's statement. He had been freed on bail in May shortly after the girl made her admission.

Mr Beardmore was living in a farmhouse 15 miles from Stoke at the time of the alleged offences, between 1991 and 1993. The girl told her mother that between the ages of three and six she had been raped and interfered with when visiting the farm.

Lord Justice Mance, sitting with Mr Justice Penry-Davey and Mr Justice Leveson, said that she was "a troubled young woman. She was confused about her sexuality. She thought she wasn't getting enough attention from her mother. She says now she never wants to see her mother again. She has expressed the wish to right a wrong which had been keeping her awake, crying all night."

Hamish Noble, for Mr Beardmore, said after the hearing: "My client was wrongly accused of one of the worst possible offences. The allegations originally made were completely untrue. My client is, however, pleased that the complainant withdrew her allegations. This took courage.

"None of us can imagine how it feels to be falsely accused of rape, knowing all the time that you are completely innocent. The jurors would have asked themselves, 'Why would the complainant make this up?' Several years later, it was established that the complainant did indeed fabricate those allegations. My client is pleased that the conviction has been quashed."


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