Woman made false sex attack claim

A woman who claimed she had been subjected to a brutal sex attack in a busy Norwich park admitted yesterday that she lied to police and made the ordeal up.

A woman who claimed she had been subjected to a brutal sex attack in a busy Norwich park admitted yesterday that she lied to police and made the ordeal up.

Ruth Siggee, of Tunstall Close, Bowthorpe, was 18 at the time of the incident in June 2004. Her claims led to the city's Chapelfield Gardens being closed while forensic experts combed it for evidence.

A large amount of public money was wasted as officers launched a major investigation, assigning a team of detectives who wasted many man hours on the operation.

Police also issued a warning to women to take extra care amid fears a dangerous individual, capable of carrying out a sex attack in broad daylight, was walking the streets.

But at Norwich Crown Court Siggee, now 21, pleaded guilty to attempting to pervert the course of justice. She will be sentenced next month but was warned all sentencing options were open.

Siggee, who previously appeared at court heavily pregnant and attended with her two-month old baby, spoke only to confirm her name and enter her plea.

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At the time of the offence she told detectives she had been walking through the popular city centre park at about lunchtime. She said she was approached by a man somewhere between Pedro's restaurant and the bandstand and he almost immediately dragged her into some bushes where a serious sexual assault took place.

Siggee described her attacker as about 18 years old and of slim build. She said he ran off towards Grapes Hill after the attack.

She even concocted descriptions of potential witnesses, telling officers a woman had been reading a book on a bench about 20-30ft from where the attack happened. This woman eventually came forward along with four other witnesses who were unable to corroborate the story.

Investigating officer Det Sgt Arthur O'Neill, of Norwich CID, issued a high profile appeal for witnesses, saying: “This person has got to be caught as soon as possible”.

Releasing Siggee on bail, Judge Paul Downes said: “You must co-operate with probation to prepare sentencing reports. At this stage no sentencing option is being ruled out.”