Monday, 27 Mar 2023

Moment Eleanor Williams whose grooming gang rape lies drove 3 men to attempt suicide buys hammer to fake injuries | The Sun

THIS is the moment a fantasist whose grooming gang rape lies led to three suicide attempts bought a hammer to fake her injuries.

Eleanor Williams, 22, claimed she was raped, trafficked and beaten by several men in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria.

Her "pack of lies" led to protests in the town and attracted the attention of far-Right groups after Williams claimed the men were part of an Asian grooming gang.

Her victims' lives were made "hell on earth" by the false accusations and they attempted suicide after receiving death threats.

Williams even shared photos of injuries she claimed she suffered in the so-called attacks, which the fantasist did to herself using a hammer.

Footage released by police today shows her buying the claw hammer in Tesco just days before she made the extraordinary claims on Facebook.

Williams has now been jailed for eight-and-a-half years after being convicted of nine counts of perverting the course of justice.

She will serve half the sentence in prison and the other half on licence once released.

Sentencing, Judge Robert Altham said there was "no explanation" for Williams' lies as he slammed her for showing "no significant sign of remorse".

Preston Crown Court heard she accused the three men and others of attacking her in a Facebook post in May 2020 – sparking an "unprecedented outcry".

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She claimed she had been groomed from the age of 12 and forced to attend sex parties across the North of England and in Ibiza.

Williams even said she had been sold as a slave at an auction in Amsterdam while on holiday with her sister as part of the extraordinary tale.

Her claims led to widespread outrage in Barrow and more than £20,000 was raised for a "Justice for Ellie" campaign.

There were also 151 extra crimes in the town following the social media post – including 83 hate crimes.

Far-Right group Patriotic Alternative, and Tommy Robinson, former leader of the English Defence League, were among those attending protests.

Business owner Mohammed Ramzan, who was one of the men Williams claimed attacked her, tried to take his own life two weeks after his arrest.

He told the court his home was damaged and business "ruined" after his family were targeted "in the most horrendous way".

Mohammed added: "I still bear the scars to this day."

Jordan Trengove had the word "rapist" spray-painted on his house and his windows were smashed as a result of Williams' claims.

He spent 73 days in prison and was forced to share a cell with a convicted sex offender after he was charged.

While Oliver Gardner was sectioned under the Mental Health Act after he also attempted suicide.

He had only met Williams during a chance encounter outside Preston Station when she asked him for a lighter.

She later claimed he raped her and sold her to a grooming gang in the town.

Oliver told the court: "This whole period in my life has been totally overwhelming."

Cameron Bibby, who was the first man falsely accused of rape by Williams in 2017 when she was just 16, told how he was too scared to pick his son up from nursery.

He said after the claims were made, some of his own neighbours displayed "Justice for Ellie" stickers in their windows.

Cumbria Police investigated Williams' original claims but found no evidence to support them and she was arrested.

In one lie to officers, she said Mohammed had taken her to Blackpool where she was made to have sex with multiple men.

But on that date, Williams was seen on CCTV buying a Pot Noodle from a corner shop before checking into the Savoy Hotel in the seaside town.

While there, she watched BBC iPlayer and YouTube on her phone in her £58 room.

She also said Cameron had drugged and raped her at a party in 2017 and claimed she heard him hatching a plan to set a dog on her and dispose of her body at sea.

In reality, Williams – then aged 16 – had got so drunk that night he was forced to call her mum to collect her.

Williams’ victims speak out

Mohammed Ramzan said following Williams' sentencing: "There's no winners here today, I feel no sense of triumph, only sadness.

"I'm not sure how the family and I are going to recover from this. Mud sticks and I fear it may take some time."

Asked about her sentence, Mohammed said it's "the judge's decision" and he "was just happy with a guilty verdict".

He added: "I can't thank the police enough for doing what they did.

"This is closure, this is it, we're moving on."

While Jordan Trengove said he has been unable to leave the house or go to work and has struggled to form a bond with his son.

He said: "I wish it was a bit longer a sentence".

Jordan says he'll "always have the thought in his head" that it's only a matter of a few years until Williams is free again.

In a last-ditch attempt to paint herself as a victim, she shared the grooming post on Facebook saying she wanted to tell "her story".

It was shared more than 100,000 times and received support from Maggie Oliver, who was instrumental in uncovering the Rochdale grooming scandal, and TV presenter Rachel Riley.

During her trial, jurors heard Williams lied not only about the sex attacks but also claims she had a child, was made to have a "backstreet abortion" and even that she had a heroin addiction.

She also made up names for "traffickers" that did not exist and sent messages from them to herself using a safety phone provided to her by a women's charity.

Williams even dragged other women into her web of lies, who later revealed they were not involved at all.

When asked why she injured herself with the claw hammer, which she bought in Tesco just days before sharing the post, she claimed: "I wouldn’t buy a hammer to hurt myself, I’m not a psychopath.”

Louise Blackwell KC, defending Williams, said she "continues in her allegations against the various people in pretty much the same circumstances".

In a letter to the court today, Williams said: "I know I've made some mistakes and I am sorry. I was young and confused.

"I'm not saying I am guilty but I know I have done some wrong and so I'm sorry."

Speaking after the sentencing, Superintendent Matthew Pearman, of Cumbria Police said: "My biggest concern throughout this period has been that these false allegations would discourage genuine victims of abuse from coming forward to ourselves and our partners.

"It is important to note that Williams' allegations could not have been taken any more seriously when she initially came forward. A large-scale investigation was launched and those she made allegations against were arrested and interviewed.

"This has been a lengthy, complex and ultimately tragic case, as well as a dark period for Barrow. I hope that the full story, now it is in the public domain, will demonstrate that the police take allegations of sexual and physical abuse extremely seriously and will investigate thoroughly.

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"I urge anyone who has been the victim of sexual or physical abuse to report it today. You will be listened to and supported."

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