A SURVIVOR of a Rotherham grooming gang says she knew all along a teenager was posing as a “fake” victim of sexual abuse.
Eleanor Williams, 22, was on Tuesday found guilty of eight counts of perverting the court of justice at Preston Crown Court.
Eleanor Williams posed as a fake victim of child abuse – sparking misery for men she falsely accusedCredit: FACEBOOK/UNPIXS
Eleanor Williams was found guilty of eight counts of perverting the court of justice on TuesdayCredit: FACEBOOK/UNPIXS
The verdict followed an extraordinary three year case which saw Williams construct a fake story that she had been abused from the age of 12.
Williams, then 19, used fake social media profiles, texted and even battered herself with a hammer to convince her community she was abused by an Asian grooming gang.
Her story gripped her hometown of Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, where she alleged the fake gang operated.
Locals mobilised, her Facebook page garnered over 100,000 followers and her family racked up over £22,000 in donations to get “justice”.
But her tale was a web of lies and her defence fell apart as CCTV and other evidence foiled the elaborate narrative.
‘Elizabeth’, now 35, a genuine victim of sexual abuse in Rotherham, has now told The Sun Online she suspected “almost from the start” Williams’ story was fabricated.
Now bringing up a family of her own, she explained: “After Rochdale and Rotherham our first instinct should be to believe, but as a genuine victim of grooming it just felt wrong.
“It was because her injuries were so extreme.”
In May 2020, Williams posted images of her blackened face to social media.
She claimed she’d been attacked by her abusers but the injuries were self-inflicted with a claw hammer.
Elizabeth, who now campaigns to on behalf of girls caught up in abuse rings, said having been at the hands of a Pakistani grooming gang, an attack would “make no sense”.
The injuries would make a grooming gang unable to “feed her to the perverts who’d normally use her”, Elizabeth explained.
Despite years of campaigning for better safeguarding of children following let downs by authorities in Rochdale and Rotherham, Elizabeth said Eleanor’s case “was strange”.
She explained: “Obviously we need to be calling out the perpetrators of grooming.
“But we also need to call out people who make it up. This girl has caused a lot of harm to innocent people.
“A case like this is sickening for the girls who’ve been through the real thing.”
She also criticised Maggie Oliver, the ex-detective who now heads an anti-abuse foundation in her own name, for putting Williams “on a pedestal”.
Sharing the picture of William’s bruised face, Oliver wrote on the Justice For Ellie site read: “This powerful image… graphically shows the descent into the horror of grooming & sexual abuse.
“[And] it is the most vulnerable of us who are often targeted, and too often blamed for their own abuse.”
Responding, Elizabeth said: “Anyone with a half a brain should have known something wasn’t right.”
Elizabeth says Williams, who spent time in Cheshire’s HMP Styal on remand following her charges, says she needs help, not more prison time.
She added: “To go to the lengths she went to, there’s just got to be some serious mental health issues.
“I don’t think prison is the answer for a girl like this. It won’t do her any good.”
Prosecutors allege Williams falsified evidence and made false claims to the police of trafficking and sexual assault between October 20 2017 and May 22 2020.
Prosecutors believe the public became increasingly engaged by Williams’ case during lockdown.
Williams’ allegations “ruined” the lives of five men – who faced assault and attacks on their businesses as a result of the allegations.
Jordan Trengove, from Barrow, was sent to prison on remand when falsely accused of rape – he had been playing XBox the night Williams falsely claimed he raped her.
Mr Trengove he tried to move to a new town but Williams’ fake story followed him everywhere and he continued to get harassed.
The then 19-year-old had also falsely claimed business owner Mohammad Ramzan had groomed her since the age of 12.
It is unclear why Williams constructed the fake story.
After being found guilty on Tuesday, Honorary Recorder of Preston Judge Robert Altham adjourned Williams’ sentencing to March.