Woman appears in court after
falsely accusing cabbie of rape

Edinburgh Sheriff Court
Edinburgh Sheriff Court

A married woman who had consensual sex with a taxi driver sparked a police investigation after claiming the man had raped her.

Chantel Clark (36) caused police to launch a major inquiry after claiming she had been sexually assaulted by the cabbie in Midlothian in May 2014.

Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard how the subsequent probe cost the taxpayer thousands of pounds.

The court heard how the man was arrested by cops who charged him with rape. He had appeared in court on the allegation before Clark admitted she had had told a lie.

The court heard how the male, who wasn’t named in court, has had marriage problems since Clark came forward. He has also had problems with his taxi licence.

The story emerged on Tuesday last week after Clark, of Dalkeith, pleaded guilty to a charge of falsely making a rape claim before Sheriff Alistair Noble. Depute procurator fiscal Brent Bissett told the court that Clark had sex with the man after he picked her up in his taxi at 3.20am on May 11 2014. The supposed sexual assault took place somewhere in Midlothian.

When she got home to Dalkeith, Midlothian, she told her husband that the driver had sexually assaulted her. Detectives were then contacted and Clark, a first offender, told them untruths about what had happened.

Mr Bissett said detectives then tracked the man down and took him into custody. He added: “The police arrested the man and charged him with rape. He appeared in court the following day.”

Clark then contacted the police to retract her confession the day after the alleged attack. When CID officers finally contacted Clark, she told them that she had made the story up. Police then arrested and charged Clark with making a false allegation and preventing the police from investigating actual crime.

The procurator fiscal in Edinburgh then stopped the case against the taxi driver, marking the case against him as ‘no proceedings’.

The court heard that Clark had told police officers: “I feel so ashamed. I have been unable to sleep or eat. I want to apologise for the problems I have caused.”

Clark wept as defence solicitor advocate Andrew Houston addressed the court on her behalf. Mr Houston said the matter had ‘snowballed’ out of her control but that she had attempted to make amends. He said that Clark had been crying when her husband suddenly asked her whether she had been raped. She had replied yes but she contacted police once she realised what she had created.

She will be sentenced on April 14.