A man falsely accused of being the head of an Asian grooming gang intends to sue both the police and Home Office for the distress and damage to his reputation the investigation caused him. Last week, Eleanor Williams was jailed for eight-and- a half years at Preston Crown Court for perverting the course of justice. The 22-year-old had falsely claimed she had been the victim of an Asian grooming gang.
She named Mohammed Ramzan as the head of the group and accused him of having groomed her from the age of 12.
Ms Williams also claimed she had been viciously beaten and was trafficked to Amsterdam to be sold at a slave auction for €25,000.
Mr Ramzan was subsequently arrested by police as he made his way to a cash and carry in July 2019 and held for 36 hours in custody.
He told a sentencing hearing at Preston Crown Court that Ms Williams’ lies had made his life “hell on earth” and had driven him to attempt suicide, after his business was ruined and he and and his family were viciously abused by the public.
Mr Ramzan said he had received “countless death threats” over social media from people all around the world.
Now the father-of-four is planning to seek redress from the police and Home Office for the emotional trauma he has suffered.
In an exclusive interview with the Daily Mirror, he said: “I respect the investigation team but I feel let down by Barrow police.
“I got more than 500 death threats but nothing was done, we received no help or support.”
Mr Ramzan added: “My businesses stopped, no one was going to buy from an ice cream van owned by a man classed as a paedophile.
“The last four years have felt like a war. I’m now £187,000 in debt.
“I think I’ve got PTSD, it’s broken me emotionally. I’m always tearing up. I wasn’t like that before.”
Ms Williams published a 1,300 word post to her Facebook page in May 2020, in which she alleged she was the victim of an Asian grooming gang.
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Her post included appalling images of her having apparently been attacked and was shared more than 100,000 times by the public.
Her lies caused public outrage and stirred up racial tensions, as far-right groups descended on the town.
Indian restaurant owners in the town repeatedly had their windows smashed after a list circulated on Snapchat purporting to show businesses complicit in Williams’ abuse.
One Muslim restaurateur told The Guardian he lost at least £80,000 worth of custom after being named on the list.
Orders dropped from 70-80 a night to two or three, and he was pursued down the street by people on skateboards who used the P-word and sprayed beer in his face.
Cumbria police acknowledged the the impact the case has had on the falsely accused, but defended their actions, saying they had no alternative but to investigate.
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A spokesperson for the force said: “Those she made allegations against were arrested and interviewed.
“We have provided support or signposted individuals to partner agencies and maintained contact with those falsely accused.
“The fallout led directly to hate crime against members of the Asian community, these were investigated.”