Jury told Portsmouth woman lied twice about rape claim

ON TRIAL Rebecca Layton leaves Portsmouth Crown Court
ON TRIAL Rebecca Layton leaves Portsmouth Crown Court
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A WOMAN falsely claimed she was in a five-year relationship with a man who raped and assaulted her, a court heard.

Joseph Luter, 26, was arrested and quizzed after former nursery worker Rebecca Layton told police he had attacked her.

A 12-strong jury heard Layton, 25, claimed during a 999 call that she had been in a relationship with Mr Luter for five years, was 15 weeks pregnant with his child and had suffered domestic abuse at his hands.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard Layton later changed her story and said she had in fact been raped by 25-year-old Ashley Patterson.

But prosecutor Barry McElduff branded Layton’s claims ‘unbelievable.’

Layton, of Newcomen Road, Portsmouth, denies two counts of perverting the course of justice between July 9 2012 and October 30 2012.

The court heard Layton told police Mr Luter had apologised to her on social networking website Facebook.

Layton said she had told Mr Luter she was pregnant with his child the day before the alleged rape on July 10 2012.

But when Mr Luter handed himself in on July 15 he told police he had been at the gym at a Marriott Hotel in Portsmouth with a friend when he was alleged to have raped her.

CCTV later confirmed this.

Describing Mr Luter’s police interview, Barry McElduff, prosecuting, said: ‘He denied raping Rebecca Layton. He went on to say he knew her at school but apart from one meeting since and a comment or two on Facebook he’s had no contact with her.

‘They were not in a relationship, he told police.’

The court heard Mr Luter told police Layton had contacted his mother about three weeks earlier and told her she was pregnant with his child, which had sparked an ‘exchange’ between them on Facebook.

Layton changed her story and during a later police interview was arrested.

She then accused Ashley Patterson of raping her instead.

Police did not arrest Mr Patterson but took a witness statement from him during which he said the pair had made an arrangement via Facebook, met up and had consensual sex on July 10.

However he denied raping Layton, who was later interviewed again and charged.

Mr McElduff told jurors Layton’s defence counsel would seek to persuade them that she was ‘insane’ at the time.

He said Layton has been diagnosed with Graves’ disease which caused an overactive thyroid gland which can in some cases lead to delusions.

McElduff said: ‘It is anticipated that you will hear evidence to suggest Miss Layton suffered from delusional beliefs.’

He added: ‘This was a young lady who intentionally made false allegations, and the crown say that for the way that she shifted her allegations, by the changes in her story, by the way she shifted blame from one man to another, and that to suggest she misunderstood what rape was is really unbelievable, and that whilst perhaps not allegations made in malice, these were false allegations and deliberately so.’