A taxi driver accused of groping a woman has been cleared of all charges after evidence of a web of lies came to light, Cardiff Crown Court heard.
Claire Morgan, 35, falsely accused the driver of molesting her in a playground and was today jailed for 30 months after pleading guilty to perverting the course of justice.
The court heard that that Ms Morgan took a five minute taxi ride and three days later called police claiming that the driver grabbed her breasts and put his hand inside her underwear at a nearby adventure playground.
The driver was arrested and spent six hours in South Wales Police custody.
Morgan went on to set up a fake Facebook account to respond to a police appeal claiming they had witnessed the attack and also phoned CrimeStoppers to give a detailed account of events.
However, Cardiff Crown Court heard that the CrimeStoppers call handler found it “odd” due to the amount of detail being given.
Morgan’s story then began to fall apart as she gave different accounts of the alleged attack to people she knew.
South Wales Police then also checked CCTV and found inconsistencies to the journey she made with the taxi driver. Morgan’s clothes were also checked for DNA, but only her’s was found.
Prosecutor Rachel Knight said: “Police realised that the account the defendant had given was not in line with the CCTV.”
The taxi driver said: “I sensed people were judging me and I felt awkward at times.
“It felt good finally being able to tell my wife, family and friends that I was a completely innocent man.”
Upon jailing Morgan, judge Eleri Rees added: “Largely due to the diligence of the police officer and the CCTV the driver did not face charge.
“Here was a huge waste of police resources.”
Detective Constable Steve Gunney said: "Thankfully, false allegations of this nature are relatively rare but as Judge Eleri Rees rightly pointed out, they do divert vital resources away from genuine cases.
"Claire Morgan went to great lengths to ensure her version of events was believed and her actions will have wasted valuable police time which could have been far better spent seeking justice for genuine victims. Her allegations also had a devastating impact on the man she accused. I hope she uses her time in prison to reflect on the harm her lies have caused.”