A WOMAN has been jailed after falsely claiming she had been raped and leading a 'malicious campaign' against the soldier serving in Tidworth that she accused.

Rebecca Palmer, 26, of Garraways, Royal Wootton Bassett, was jailed for five years at Winchester Crown Court yesterday (Thursday) after she was found guilty of four counts of perverting the course of justice in relation to making a false allegation of rape.

Palmer had alleged she was raped in December 2015 by a 22-year-old soldier serving with the Kings Royal Hussars, in Tidworth.

During the nine-day trial, the court heard a personal impact statement from the victim about the devastating affect the false allegations had on his life and the campaign waged against him by Palmer.

Joanne Jakymec, chief crown prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service in Wessex said: “Rebecca Palmer indulged in consensual sexual activity with the victim, but on being rejected by him embarked on a malicious campaign which led to him being arrested on more than one occasion and held in custody for periods of time.

“She repeatedly made false allegations, including that of an allegation of rape, and sent malicious communications to both the victim and members of his family.

“She invented fake friend profiles and produced false correspondence hoping that these would be accepted as supportive evidence of her false claims.

“She falsely claimed that the victim had taken revenge on her by posting intimate pictures of her on Facebook.

“Our thoughts go to the victim in this case and we hope that this verdict will allow him to move on.”

Palmer has been criticised for her 'unacceptable' behaviour which prosecutors fear may impact on the confidence of other victims of rape and sexual assault from coming forward.

Ms Jakymec added: “Rape is a very serious offence and this case should not detract genuine victims of this crime from coming forward and reporting."

A Wiltshire Police spokesperson added: “Palmer’s behaviour has been completely unacceptable and she has shown no regard for the level of upset she has caused to others.

“Palmer became completely embroiled in her own web of lies and her appalling behaviour could really have a negative impact on other victims of rape or sexual assault who may choose not to report it to police for fear that they will not be believed.

“I would like to reassure victims of sexual assault that we take all reports extremely seriously and would encourage anyone who has been a victim, regardless of how much time has passed since the offence, to come forward and report it to police on 101."

Palmer had pleaded guilty to three further counts of perverting the course of justice and five counts of sending malicious communications.