The family and friends of Jemma Beale have begun a campaign over what they describe as a “contentious” conviction. Jemma was found guilty last year of perjury and perverting the course of justice.
A jury found that she had made up claims of rape and sexual assault. Jemma was sentenced to ten years in prison, longer than the average sentence for rape.
Jemma’s father Roy told Socialist Worker, “The Daily Telegraph newspaper quoted the following from DS Kevin Lynott from the Metropolitan Police, which investigated three of the four allegations.
“It said he ‘insisted that each of her claims had been investigated independently and that there was “credible” evidence that cast no doubt on her allegations’.
“This credible evidence still exists. Please read the documented evidence and share the facts.”
Her family has said false stories were published in the mainstream press. Some headlines declared that Jemma had made claims against 15 men. Her family said Jemma accused three men in relation to four incidents across three years.
They said “prejudicial” headlines were published while Jemma’s trial was ongoing. They have also questioned the basis for some of the charges against her.
The perjury charges followed an ex-girlfriend, Anuska Pritchard, claiming that Jemma had confessed to lying about being raped.
Jemma’s family said, “Pritchard has never gone to the police with details of the alleged ‘confession’.” Police became aware of the allegation following a visit to Pritchard in 2014.
Jemma’s family added, “The police commenced an investigation into Jemma simply because they did not believe it was possible for a woman to be sexually assaulted four times in three years.
“However, the Mumsnet survey “We Believe You”, which received 1,600 respondents, sadly shows that 23 percent of women who had been sexually assaulted suffered on four or more occasions.”
Mahab Kassim Kerow, who uses the name Mahad Cassim, was found guilty in 2012 of raping Jemma in 2010. He was sentenced to seven years in jail, then released after his conviction was quashed in 2015.
Jemma accused Noam Shahzad of taking part in a vicious gang attack on her in 2012. Her father said the group that allegedly assaulted Jemma stole her mobile phone and answered a call from him during the assault. Shahzad hasn’t been convicted of any crime in relation to the alleged assault.
Jemma also accused Luke Williams of assault. Her family said, “There are seven documented allegations within six years, from different women and children against Williams.” He has never been convicted of any of the allegations of sexual assault or rape.
Jemma was found guilty of two charges of perjury because she twice denied ever having consensual sex with a male.
But her family said this refers to sex with an ex-boyfriend when she was 14 years old. A child under the age of 16 is not legally able to give informed consent to sex.
Jemma’s family condemned her treatment. “The fact that Jemma’s private life, sexuality and sexual history was investigated and publicised represents a huge step backwards in the challenge of encouraging women to come forward and report rape and sexual assaults,” they said.