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August 19, 2003

Deaf ex-lover faked her rape in loo

From: South London Press, UK - Aug 19, 2003

By Court Reporter

A "WHOLLY innocent man" spent two months in jail after his bitter exlover staged her abduction and rape.

Alison Welfare, 26, was found by a cleaner sprawled on the floor of the toilets in McDonald's in Peckham - half-naked, bound, gagged and covered in paint.

The mother-of-four told detectives that ex-boyfriend Christopher Wheeler, 38, had kidnapped her and then raped her after carrying out a campaign of harassment.

Blackfriars Crown Court heard Mr Wheeler had spent eight weeks behind bars in High-down Prison before police discovered she had concocted the whole story.

Jailing Welfare for 12 months, the judge Mr Recorder Nicholas Valios called it an "extra-ordinary and worrying case".

Welfare and Mr Wheeler, who are both deaf, met in February last year through a mutual friend, the court heard. Welfare first went to the police in August last year and complained that Mr Wheeler had harassed her.

Ten days later, Welfare made her way to McDonald's in Peckham where she was found half-naked with her clothes torn.

She was bound and gagged and covered from head to toe in white paint when she was found by a cleaner in the toilets.

Welfare had claimed she had been forced into a vehicle by two men in Orpington High Street.

On September 6, Mr Wheeler was arrested and charged with rape, conspiracy to kidnap, making threats to kill and harassment. He was remanded in custody and held for two months.

During the investigation, police checked CCTV at the restaurant. When Welfare was reinterviewed she admitted making up the allegations.

Welfare, of Lancing Road, Orpington, Kent, was sentenced to a year's imprisonment after admitting perverting the course of justice.

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