A British court's decision to convict a young woman who falsely claimed that she had been gang-raped by an "Asian gang" was welcomed on social media platforms, as her claim had caused uproar and chaos, and reinforced anti-Muslims and Asians, according to experts.

Eleanor Williams, 22, was convicted of 8 charges at Preston Crown Court in the British county of Lancashire, including perverting the course of justice, in early January.

Williams had posted on her Facebook account in May 2020 a picture of her, with many injuries and bruises on her face.

Williams falsely claimed that these injuries were the result of being assaulted and raped by a group of Asian men, but the results of the investigation concluded that the girl had injured herself using a hammer.

⚖️Eleanor Williams 22, has been convicted of perverting the course of justice, after maliciously making false allegations of sexual abuse.

More👉https://t.co/sQjakfXJND pic.twitter.com/vBDt18jt35

— CPS North West (@CPS_NorthWest) January 4, 2023

fuss and fears

Tens of thousands of followers shared her post on Facebook, which caused widespread repercussions and fears at the local level, necessitating the intervention of the representative of the English city of "Barrow in Furness" where she lives, and raising her case several times in Parliament to demand justice.

Reports of her assault sparked demonstrations in Barrow-in-Furness, accusations from right-wing groups, and the questioning and detention of many people who said their lives had been negatively affected by the false allegations.

According to media outlets, Williams' trial began in October of last year, after a series of false evidence she presented during the investigation.

Williams has accused several men of trafficking and raping her, but she has named random people online, and fictitious ones, as sex trafficking victims.

The investigation also found that Williams sent herself many messages that appeared to be messages from her rapists and from other victims.

The young woman claimed that she was trafficked for sex in Amsterdam, but the investigation found that she was in the UK.

It has been almost three years since the allegations made by Eleanor Williams first appeared on Facebook.

Barrow went through the wringer.

But today Ellie was found guilty of perverting the course of justice by a jury of her peers.

My thoughts: https://t.co/93ZzJrTEU4

— Simon Fell MP (@simonfell) January 3, 2023

Anger and misleading

And the MP for the city of "Barrow-in-Furness", Simon Vale, expressed his anger at the falsity of Williams' allegations, which "caused chaos in the city," he said.

"The community was angry and didn't know where to go," Phil wrote, referring to the situation in the city after the news broke in 2020.

"The pictures Ellie shared were horrific. The story she told - of being raped, beaten and abused - was every parent's nightmare," Phil added.

Phil explained that he made efforts to communicate with government ministers, raise the issue in Parliament repeatedly, and work with human rights and charitable organizations specialized in addressing violence against women, in order to achieve justice for young Williams.

He also said: "There are no winners in this horrific case. People's lives have been destroyed as a result of her stories, the city has been thrown into chaos, a man has spent time in jail over her (false) allegations... Trust in the police has been shaken."

The deputy pointed out that the real victims of rape also fell victim to Williams' lies, and stressed that assistance should be provided to them, and to the young woman herself.

I've been a journalist for 18 years and the trial of Eleanor Williams is of the most unusual cases I've ever covered, with far reaching consequences for the community in Barrow in Furness https://t.co/apBRpIEbsJ

— Helen Pidd (@helenpidd) January 3, 2023

For her part, Wendy Lloyd, an official from the "Rape and Serious Sexual Offenses Unit" at the Royal Prosecution Service in the Northwest English region, said that the girl "maliciously and constantly made false accusations against many men who were unlucky to know her."

She added that Williams "knew what she was doing each time and made these false allegations with the intent of investigating these men and possibly prosecuting or even imprisoning them as a result of their actions."

Lloyd confirmed that the police and the Crown Prosecution Service "take allegations of sexual abuse very seriously", and continued: "Every accusation of Eleanor Williams was thoroughly investigated, until it was revealed that they were completely untrue and incontestable and made with malicious intent."

Eleanor Williams, 22, claims of being trafficked by an "Asian grooming gang" set off a chain of events that included a far-right group gaining a foothold in Barrow, and drove a sharp rise in racism and Islamophobia.


— Mobashra (@mobbiemobes) January 4, 2023

For her part, Mobshra Tazmal, a researcher specializing in Islamophobia, said that Eleanor Williams' allegations of being trafficked by an Asian gang sparked a chain of events that allowed far-right groups to protest in the city, and led to a sharp increase in racism and Islamophobia.