A Herefordshire man who falsely claimed he was raped by four gay men has been jailed for six years.
Mark Wixey, 43, of Belmont, Herefordshire, received the sentence last week at Worcester Crown Court.
Worcester News reports Wixey was jailed for making false rape allegations against four gay men he met on dating websites.
He encountered three of the men on Gaydar and another on a site called Plenty of Fish, meeting up with men in various parts of the country but made false allegations which led to them being investigated and held by police.
The trial heard that one of the falsely accused took an overdose and another contemplated suicide.
Wixey was arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice on 20 December 2012.
Initially denying the allegations, Wixey pleaded guilty at Worcester Crown Court to all charges on 18 November.
Judge Robert Juckes QC sentenced him to six years, taking into account Wixey’s decision to plead guilty, he reduced the sentence from eight years to six.
He said the case was unique due to the number of victims and that lawyers were unable to source any previous case history of similar matters involving the victims.
Judge Juckes said Wixey was obviously a “troubled” man but drink had played a major part in the offences. At one stage he had tried to commit suicide.
DC Zoey Carter, the officer in the case for West Mercia Police, said: “The false allegation made by Mr Wixey in Worcester resulted in the arrest, detention and interview of an innocent man. As part of the detention process he was forensically examined and provided intimate samples.
“The victim described the week following his arrest as the worst in his life and believes the incident has changed him completely.
“The nature of these false allegations is quite horrific and the long term effects on the lives of his victims is significant.
“One victim contemplated suicide whilst another was so distraught that he took an overdose which was thankfully unsuccessful. By making this, and the allegations in other police force areas, Mr Wixey has prevented valuable specialist resources from investigating genuine complaints.
“It’s because West Mercia Police take sexual offence allegations so seriously that the investigation team were determined to ensure Mr Wixey was brought to justice and couldn’t ruin any other lives.
“I am thrilled that we have achieved justice for all the victims concerned and I truly hope that they are now able to put an end to this chapter in their lives and move on. In fact, I received a message from one of the victims this morning thanking us and explaining that he felt like a huge amount of pressure had been lifted and that he felt like he’d been given his life back.”