In the early hours of July 7, 2013 police received a phone call from the Ambulance Service regarding a woman who was reported to have been sexually assaulted. The woman was 22-year-old Lisha Tait of the Laurel Lodge from the Flush Garden area of Lisburn.
She was taken to an Assault Referral Centre in Antrim to be examined. It was also there that she filed a formal complaint about a guy she knew who raped her.
Crown prosecutor Simon Jenkins reported that in August 13, 2013 Tait had made a written statement backing her claim, providing further details to the authority. She said that the man had spoken to her in the Beach Club before grabbing her and sexually assaulting her outside.
The following day she made another written statement that because of her level of intoxication some of the details regarding the incident was lost on her.
On September 4, the accused voluntarily head to the police station and was then put into questioning for two hours. He admitted that he did exchanged words with Tait inside the club but denied everything that Tait claimed. He also reported that him and Tait had “been together consensually that week.”
Apart from giving his side of the story, the accused also gave DNA samples to the police to help with the investigation. The authorities who were handling the case got a hold of the CCTV footage of the club the night this series of events took place. Upon reviewing the footage it was found out that Tait had left the club rather intoxicated and had taken a taxi alone.
On September 16 the accuser was interviewed again, but she was singing a different tune this time. Tait admitted that she made the whole thing up because the man “had given her the cold shoulder in the club.” Jenkins said that Tait was quite apologetic that she had wasted police time and resources, and had expressed remorse about the whole ordeal.
Belfast Recorder Judge David McFarland said that Tait has expressed genuine remorse for what she did. However, the case fell within the category of incriminating an innocent person. Prosecutor Jenkins also noted that even though she regretted her false allegations “she didn’t come clean for some two months.”
Due to all of this Tait was sentenced only 9 months of prison time; a sentence that many felt to be lax given that she could’ve ruined someone’s life with her lie.