A HAMPSHIRE man has spoken of his nightmare at being falsely accused of rape after the woman who made up the lies was jailed.

Derek Cummings was facing at least eight years in prison after Roseanne England, 21, concocted a story about being sexually attacked in her home.

Her lies led to Mr Cummings being arrested, held for 28 hours before he was exonerated 24 days later. He had his DNA taken and his home searched.

At the time of the fictitious ‘attack’ last May, he had been walking his cocker spaniel in the New Forest and had no alibi, Winchester Crown Court heard.

As England was jailed for 18 months yesterday, an emotional Mr Cummings said: “My family has been through hell.

It is going to affect me for a long time.

“Rape is like being accused of murder.

There are certain pubs I still cannot go in. People think that I’m guilty.”

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Mr Cummings, a 59-year-old retired Esso engineer from Fawley, added: “I have mixed feelings about her sentence. I don’t want to see a 21-year-old go to jail, but she had plenty of time to come clean.

She knew I had been arrested and was innocent. I take no joy in her going to prison. I hope she gets help.”

The court heard that Mr Cummings partially matched the description of the ‘rapist’ but was much shorter and lighter than the 18-stone, 6ft 3inch suspect England had described to police.

Mr Cummings said he had no complaints about the police and had been “gobsmacked” by his similarity to an efit of the suspect. England, of Fawley Road, Hythe, admitted perverting the course of justice and showed no emotion as she was jailed for 18 months.

Judge Keith Cutler said there were other aggravating factors: the element of pre-planning; the waste of police time; and the fact she had let down future victims of real rapes as this case might cast doubt on future complaints.

Mark Florida-James, prosecuting, said England had invented a story of a stranger knocking on her door claiming his car had broken down and he needed to use her phone. Mr Florida-James said: “Mr Cummings is entirely innocent, a man of good character.”

Costly web of lies

ROSEANNE England’s lies sparked a major police operation: 73 members of Hampshire police staff were needlessly diverted; 115 exhibits were seized; 54 statements taken; £6,700 wasted on overtime and £6,727 spent on forensic examinations.

The story unravelled after forensic analysis including the fact the ripped clothing had been done with a sharp implement.