A trainee lawyer hoping to qualify as a barrister cried rape 11 TIMES – to get out of taking her Bar exams, a court heard.
Rhiannon Brooker, 30, falsely accused her boyfriend of repeatedly raping and assaulting her which saw him arrested, charged and held in custody for 30 days, it was said.
But detectives could not find any evidence that Paul Fensome, 46, had carried out the crimes and arrested Brooker.
It then emerged that she had used the allegations as “extenuating circumstances” in a failed attempt to dodge her exams, Bristol Crown Court heard.
She is now standing trial for 11 false claims of rape and nine of assault, two of which include imprisonment allegations.
David Bartlett, prosecuting, said: “The prosecution says that one of the reasons for her false allegations was that she was living an active social life in Bristol and not doing the work required to pass the assessments, so she falsified the allegations in order to give substance to her extenuating circumstances forms.”
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The court heard how “confident and outspoken” Brooker took a Bachelor of Law degree at Birmingham City University before moving to Bristol in September 2010.
She attended the University of the West of England (UWE) in the city in order to take her BVC qualifications to become a barrister.
Brooker, who lived in Frampton Cotterell, South Glos., at the time of the alleged offences, claimed Mr Fensome, whom she met in Birmingham, objected violently to the move.
Mr Bartlett told the court that, shortly before her move to Bristol, Brooker appeared at a convenience store where she worked with injuries and complained her boyfriend had assaulted her.
While at UWE she told fellow students she had been assaulted and raped and occasionally sported physical injuries, but had not reported the matter to police.
She finally went to police in May 2011 following a visit to the Royal United Hospital in Bath but all the allegations were denied by railway signalman Mr Fensome.
Brooker consented to police examining her medical records from hospitals or clinics she had attended, and took photos of her injuries.
The court was told allegations involving false imprisonment and assault at her home were countered with “cast iron alibis” by Mr Fensome.
On other occasions texts from his phone, telephone cell site analysis and his work shift patterns all either undermined or disproved further allegations.
Mr Bartlett said: “Whilst in respect of some allegations there was no independent evidence either to confirm what she had said or undermine it, on other occasions independent evidence either undermined or disproved her account.
“Eventually the Crown dropped the numerous charges against Paul Fensome because, taken as a whole, the evidence showed that there was no longer a realistic prospect of conviction.
“Expert opinion was obtained which suggested that those injuries of Brooker that were photographed were self-inflicted.”
She claimed Mr Fensome forced her to have sex a number of times, and on one occasion she told a friend she had lost a baby because her boyfriend had punched her in the ribs, the court heard.
While at UWE it is alleged she told friends that facial injuries and bruising she had were as a result of her attempts to end her relationship, which Mr Fensome would not allow.
In March 2011 she was assessed by an independent domestic violence advisor, who tried to encourage her to involve police and log events.
The court heard Brooker only sat the first four of her 12 assessments for her BVC course and persuaded the Extenuating Circumstance Committee to let her sit all at a later date.
Although she failed the exams because she went beyond time limits for the retakes.
After withdrawing her allegations Brooker confirmed they were false, and admitted that injuries seen by witnesses, including her friends and doctors, were self-inflicted, the court heard.
She denies 20 charges of doing an act tending, and intended, to pervert the court of justice between May 2011 and January 2012.
The case continues.