The mother of a fantasist jailed for lying about being raped by an Asian grooming gang broke down in tears today as she claimed she was ‘just trying to get people to listen to her’.
Eleanor Williams, 22, was jailed for eight-and-a-half years at Preston Crown Court on Monday for perverting the course of Justice.
She told cops she was raped, trafficked and beaten by several men in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria.
She claimed she had been sold as a sex slave in Amsterdam just like Kim, played by actress Maggie Grace, in the 2008 film Taken.
A court heard how she posted an elaborate Facebook status to claim she was victim to an Asian grooming gang who drugged, beat, blackmailed and threatened her with weapons.
Yesterday, her mother, Allison Johnston, a former Labour councillor, spoke for the first time since her daughter was sentenced.
Speaking through tears, she told Sky News: ‘[I’m] heartbroken. I can’t [describe it]. I still can’t take it in really. It just doesn’t feel real.’
Asked why her daughter told such lies, she added: ‘I believe she was just trying to get people to listen to her.’
Williams was brought up in a large stone-built semi by her mother and her stepfather. She has an elder sister, Lucy, and a brother – who both doted on their younger sibling.
The family home is on a quiet street on Walney Island, just off Barrow-in-Furness, where houses sell for up to £315,000 – double the average for the area – and to neighbours they seemed an ‘entirely normal family’.
Williams’ grandmother, Anne Burns, is a Labour stalwart in the town – representing the town’s Hindpool ward on Cumbria County Council and serving as cabinet member for children’s services.