Norfolk single-mum is jailed after falsely accusing ‘cheating ex-boyfriend’ of burglary

Friday, February 7, 2014
9:27 AM

A single-mum who falsely accused her ex-boyfriend of burglary “after he cheated on her” has been jailed.

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Alexandra Burton, 29, called police to her home in Poppyfields, West Lynn, last Halloween.

She claimed her ex-partner had taken a mobile phone and foreign cash that she had been saving for a holiday, Norwich Crown Court heard yesterday.

In a “convincing” six-page statement she said she was sure the burglar was her ex-partner, and police took him into custody at 10.15pm that night.

Robert Warner, prosecuting, said Burton’s ex-boyfriend spent a night in the cells but was released the next day as he denied the allegations, gave an alibi and a “credible” account that he stayed at Burton’s address despite them no longer being together.

An officer called Burton after her ex-boyfriend was interviewed, and she started to cry.

“He reports that she broke down and admitted she lied,” said Mr Warner. “She said she was advised to report a burglary by a friend as that was all police were interested in.”

The pair’s relationship had ended in October “she says after he cheated on her”, added Mr Warner.

Philip Farr, defending, said Burton, who has a nine-year-old son, had been single for a number of years when she started a relationship with the man in July 2013.

“She quickly became besotted with him, but it transpired her feelings were not necessarily matched by her partner,” said Mr Farr. “When she was working to maintain a lifestyle and he was having relationships with others, the final straw came when she found the money missing that she had been saving up to go on holiday.

“She genuinely suspected it was her partner and took the foolhardy decision of reporting it as a burglary instead of as a theft.”

He said the admin worker was of previous good character, full of remorse, felt “a deep sense of shame” and there was “absolutely no likelihood” she would appear in court again.

“There’s a clear sense of betrayal here,” added Mr Farr.

Burton pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice, and tears streamed down her face as she was sentenced to 28 days in prison.

Judge Anthony Bate said Burton was an “intelligent” woman and her police statement was “carefully crafted”.

“Quite why you brought about your own downfall leading to your appearance and disgrace in crown court is difficult to understand, but in the aftermath of your relationship it could be that you felt very aggrieved,” he added. “But what you did, in my judgement, was so serious only immediate imprisonment can do justice to it.”

He said to spare her jail would send the wrong message to others, given her “convincing” lies had wasted “scarce” police resources.

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