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Woman who falsely accused workmate of sexual assault is jailed

Teresa Watson claimed Martin Canavan groped her in WH Smith at Aberdeen International Airport.

Aberdeen: Woman jailed over sex assault claims.
Aberdeen: Woman jailed over sex assault claims. Andrew Milligan/PA Archive/PA Images

A woman who falsely accused a workmate of sexual assault has been jailed.

Teresa Watson, 50, claimed Martin Canavan groped her while they worked in WH Smith at Aberdeen Airport.

Police officers wasted 72 hours of their time trying to uncover the truth after Watson reported Mr Canavan in April 2014.

Mr Canavan was detained at a police station for six hours in the middle of the night for questioning before being released without charge.

When police reviewed CCTV they were unable to find any truth to Watson's claims.

She was found guilty of making a false accusation of sexual assault and wasting police time following a trial at Aberdeen Sheriff Court last month.

But on Friday the court heard that Watson still refused to accept the guilty verdict from sheriff Richard McFarlane.

Watson failed to cooperate in the preparation of reports, refused to disclose personal details and stormed out of meetings with social workers.

Defence agent Mike Allan said: "She accepts that she was found guilty. But in her head she does not believe she committed this offence."

Sheriff McFarlane said "peculiarities" about her case had been revealed during the trial, including her inability to pinpoint the date of the alleged attack.

He said the impact of such an allegation on Mr Canavan's life was "incalculable".

The sheriff told Watson: "I do not believe a word you said. As a result of these allegations police called on your work colleague. The impact of being targeted by the police in human terms is probably incalculable.

"It has been a life changing event and one that I don't think he has fully recovered from."

Watson, of Sandhaven near Fraserburgh, was jailed for eight months.

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