Rape claims blighted my life, court is told — (The Argus)

SSRI Ed note: Woman on depression medication accuses boyfriend of rape when he is not even in town, has him arrested on several occasions, causes break-up, self-harms.

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The Argus

By Ali Cridland

A marketing executive has told of the turmoil of being repeatedly wrongly accused of rape by his girlfriend.

Graham Fuller was arrested three times and held in a cell while police investigated her claims.

But Sarah Mealing, 43, was lying, a jury heard yesterday.

Mealing, of Brunswick Square, Hove, denies five charges of perverting the course of justice between August 2004 and October 2005 at a trial at Lewes Crown Court.

On one occasion Mealing told police Mr Fuller had raped her while at the time he was on a stag weekend more than 200 miles away in Jersey, the court heard.

He was accused of rape while he was attended a company Christmas party in Scotland and on another occasion he was on board a flight travelling to South Africa.

The third time he was arrested, Mr Fuller had been watching the film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory at the cinema.

Mr Fuller told the jury: “All this has put considerable pressure on my career, my personal life and some financial strain as well.

“I had to tell my boss what was happening. I was obviously being arrested. I was not able to go to work on a number of occasions

The jury heard the couple met while they both worked at the Legal and General offices in Hove and split 12 years later, at the end of 2004.

Mr Fuller said their relationship had been happy until Mealing suffered an accident in 1995 when she fell off a chair and broke one or two bones in the base of her spine.

She had to undergo a series of operations and has never been able to return to work permanently since, he said. She became depressed and needed medication.

She began drinking heavily and to self-harm, being admitted to hospital at least 40 times.

She began taking overdoses and cutting her wrists. At one point she was sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

He told the jury: “It was a bit traumatic.

“She increasingly began to self-harm, which put a strain on our relationship. She also started to make allegations against me.

“She would also take overdoses of painkillers and started to cut herself.”

In July 2004 she made her first complaint to police, claiming he had assaulted her and given her a black eye. During the time she made the repeated allegations Mr Fuller once spent 13 hours in custody.

Mr Fuller said he continued to stand by her and give up support but finally ended their relationship.

He said: “It was a build up of my frustration and the accusations and trying to get help.”

He said she did not want the relationship to end and promised to help for her problems.

The prosecution allege Mealing made up the allegations with the intention of getting Mr Fuller into trouble as their relationship came to an end.

Diane Chan, prosecuting, told the jury: “As far as the Crown is concerned all these allegations are untrue and were falsely made with the intention of getting him in trouble with the police.”

The trial continues.

7:40am today