By MIA DE GRAAF
A young mother has been jailed after she made two different false reports of rape within hours after drunkenly sleeping with her friend's partner.
The man only proved his innocence because he filmed the sexual encounter on his mobile phone and the footage showed she was a willing and active participant.
Ashleigh Loder, 25, wasted at least 100 hours of police time and subjected the man, who has not been named, to police questioning after inventing the two attacks in Bideford, North Devon.
She first contacted police - drunk on vodka - saying she had been dragged to the ground and raped in an alleyway by two strangers.
But when forensic tests seemed to disprove the story, she fabricated a new one - accusing a man of date raping her at home.
A friend of the man's partner, Loder admitted she fabricated a story fearing the consequences of sleeping with him.
She spread her claims about him around Bideford and he was forced to stay inside, becoming a recluse for two weeks to avoid reprisals, Exeter Crown Court was told.
Loder, of Bideford, admitted perverting the course of justice and was jailed for six months by Judge Phillip Wassall.
He told her: 'The man was branded a rapist locally and it caused him considerable distress and suffered threats within the local area and lost time off work.'
'One can only imagine what it is like to be accused of a very serious crime which could carry a sentence of around six years.'
'There are some offences so serious that the court has no option other than immediate custody.'
'There must be a clear message to anyone who invents a serious allegation, particularly one such as this which carries such a stigma.'
Jonathan Barnes, prosecuting, said Loder called the police on the night of December 1 last year and initially claimed to have been raped in an alley near her home as she left for a night out.
But after changing her account of events, her friend's partner was forced to take time off work for police questioning.
He proved his innocence with images of their affair and a text Loder had sent him claiming to have been raped in an alley.
Mr Barnes said: 'The allegations had a considerable effect on him. They were bandied about the area and he had to live like a recluse for two weeks. He lost two stone of weight through the stress and had problems sleeping.'
Greg Richardson, defending, said: 'Her life was a complete dream and she convinced herself she had been raped. Who knows what was going on in her mind but she believed something within her had said no.'
'She says the situation she got into was rock bottom. She wishes to apologise sincerely to the man.'