A 68-year-old who was jailed for abusing his granddaughter has been told he must complete his 12-year sentence despite the teenager saying she made it up.
The grandfather’s conviction will not be quashed despite the 17-year-old girl saying she lied while offering evidence as the main witness at his trial.
She claimed that she invented the abuse in a bid for attention from those close to her but the Court of Appeal heard that she realised she had to ‘do the right thing’ when she saw her grandparent jailed.
But judges found that the original evidence she offered at Snaresbrook Crown Court in East London was still believable, The Telegraph reports.
On Friday they said that the ‘fragile and troubled teenager’ was motivated by regret at seeing him jailed.
The youngster – who cannot be named for legal reasons and was referred to as ‘M’ in legal proceedings – first alleged the abuse in 2016.
She spoke to a counsellor when she was 14 years old, saying that she realised her grandfather’s behaviour was wrong when she started sex education lessons at school in year eight.
The counsellor then reported the girl’s claims to the police and they interviewed the child the next day.
Her grandfather faced charges of abusing the child on several occasions when the girl was three or four, six or seven and eight or nine years of age.
The youngster’s mother, a police officer and the counsellor who first heard the allegations gave evidence at the original trial.
The man – who also cannot be named for legal reasons – was convicted in February 2018 by a majority verdict of 11 to one.
M offered a 14-paragraph statement that claimed the allegations she made were false.
It was submitted to an appeal launched on the grounds that the child gave false evidence at the original trial.
Her statement read that she wanted to withdraw her allegations as ‘the alleged incidents did not in fact take place’.
The girl said that she was not aware of the consequences that would follow her actions, namely that her grandfather would be jailed, until after the case had begun.
She said that she was then too scared to say that she had lied but now understood the severity of what she had alleged.
The girl said she made false allegations because she didn’t like the way her grandfather treated her mother.
Her statement goes on to say that she ‘sincerely’ regrets that her grandparent went to prison.
‘After my grandfather went to prison, I knew I had to do the right thing and tell the truth,’ it reads. ‘I am making this statement because it is the right thing to do and I want to tell the truth. I am truly sorry for what I have done.’
The girl’s mother backed her retraction. During the trial she had to deny that she’d prompted her daughter to allege the abuse due to her dislike of her father-in-law.
But it was concluded that there was ‘no proper basis for rejecting M’s original evidence’.
The judges rejected the ‘veracity and reliability’ of the youngster’s retraction statement.