A British student has been jailed for falsely accusing a taxi driver of sexual assault after he declined to accept cash that was covered in kebab grease.
Sophie Pointon, 22, an aspiring police officer, received a 16-month sentence following her conviction. She had told police last April that the taxi driver molested her in the back of his vehicle after he picked her up one night, the Telegraph reported.
Police in Leeds found the driver, who’s a father of five, and kept him detained for six hours. The accusation prevented the driver from working for four weeks.
Prosecutor Kate Bisset said the accused man was interviewed, where he claimed Pointon was “extremely drunk” and was holding a kebab the night he picked her up.
At one point during the journey, the driver said, the student threw money at him – but he refused to accept it because it was covered in oil from a kebab, the Mirror reported. Pointon then became abusive while opening the vehicle’s doors.
“He did not think much of it at the time because such incidents with people who are intoxicated are not unusual,” the prosecutor said.
A phone conversation between the driver and his taxi office validated his account of the night, while a GPS tracker in the car also contradicted the student’s description of the journey.
As police challenged Pointon’s account during the trial, she reportedly broke down in tears in court and asked whether she could drop the charges against the man.
She later pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice and was sentenced to 16 months in jail.
“Your malicious complaint has done a huge disservice to those seeking justice through the police and courts,” Judge Christopher Batty told the student.