Eleanor Williams, 22 lied about grooming gang

A 22-year-old Barrow-in-Furness resident was found guilty of perverting the course of justice by fabricating allegations of multiple white men having been raped and telling “malevolent” lies about being trafficked by an Asian grooming gang.

When Eleanor Williams, also known as Ellie, posted graphic images of herself on Facebook and claimed that men had taken her to $ex “parties” around the north-west of England, she incited a global solidarity movement. Ellie also accused the men of beating and raping her.

The post, which was published on May 20, 2020, during the first Covid lockdown, led more than 100,000 people to join the Justice for Ellie Facebook group. It prompted a crowdfunder, which saw more than 1,000 people donate £22,000 to help her and find her abusers, and it resulted in a line of merchandise featuring a purple elephant, her favorite animal.

It sparked a series of events that led to the establishment of a far-right group in Barrow and an abrupt increase in racism and Islamophobia. A Muslim takeaway owner was chased down the street by men who poured alcohol over his head. Curry house windows were broken. Popular restaurants were boycotted. After receiving numerous death threats, a local reporter who covered the case was forced to leave Cumbria by police advice.

Eleanor Williams: The grooming gang lies that sparked outrage - BBC News
Source: BBC

Additionally, it destroyed the lives of those she falsely accused; they endured street abuse and were referred to as “paedo.”. Williams omitted to mention in her widely shared Facebook post that she was already facing charges for allegedly fabricating four men’s rape allegations.

One of them, an 18-year-old man who had gone out with her and her friends the night before, spent 10 weeks in jail before police checked his alibi. They picked him up in Barrow town center on the very night she first accused him of drugging and raping her after seeing him arguing in the street, but it was too late by then to realize that. Jordan Trengove was captured on camera with another girl in the backseat of a police van at the precise moment when he was supposed to have raped Williams. The image was shown to the jury.

She made two additional accusations against Trengove, including fabrications that he had $exually assaulted her while holding a knife to her throat by editing social media posts to appear as though he had been sending her messages on Snapchat bragging about the rapes.

It took Cumbria police some time to figure out that Allison Johnston, a local Labour councillor, had used her home’s internet connection to create the Snapchat account, and that Williams had used multiple phones to fabricate a network of abusers and other victims to support her fabrications.

Despite the dismissal of the charges, the word “rapist” was spray-painted on the side of Trengove’s house and he was found guilty in the court of public opinion. Trengove, who is now 22 years old, claims that his imprisonment has left him with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, and that if he hadn’t become a father in August 2021, he likely would have committed suicide.

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