A mum-of-two falsely accused of helping her boyfriend invent a fake kidnap has spoken out about her two years of ‘hell’ after finally being cleared in court.
Samantha Wilson was still feeling raw from the death of her mother when police turned up at her home in Binbrook and arrested her on suspicion of perverting the course of justice - in front of her terrified four-year-old son.
Police seized Miss Wilson’s mobile phone containing all of her pictures, videos and text messages from her dead mother - and she claims they have still not given it back to her.
Miss Wilson’s now ex-boyfriend Craig Troop, 32, of School Lane, Hainton, has now been jailed for 12 months for the hoax.
But Miss Wilson, 31, says she is ‘absolutely livid’ at the ‘lenient’ sentence after her children were forced to spend 22 months worrying their mum would be locked up in jail.
She said: “I was awaiting trial for nearly two years with the prospect I could go to jail and lose my kids.
“My kids were grieving their nana and then thinking the police were taking their mum.
“My youngest is now terrified of the police and my eldest has no faith in them whatsoever because it has gone on for so long.
“They’ve spent the last two years wondering if their mum’s going to jail and if they’ll ever see me again.
“I’m absolutely livid. It’s been hell.
“I’m very relieved he’s in jail but I’m livid the sentence was so lenient.
“My youngest has been told Craig has gone to jail because he was a nasty man.
“My eldest is relieved.
“I’ve spent most of the last week in shock.”
Miss Wilson was cleared at Lincoln Crown Court on April 10 when the prosecution offered no evidence against her after the discovery of text messages which showed she had nothing to do with the false story.
Describing how the nightmare unfolded, Miss Wilson said: “I was grieving so things weren’t as they would normally be.
“We’d been arguing and I went to bed early.
“Later on Craig fell through my back door covered in mud with bruising down his ribs like he’d been hit.
“He had the story that he’d been taken and bundled off.
“He said there were men and that his ex-girlfriend Jade was definitely there.
“He said he’d recognise her voice anywhere.
“I’d told my eldest the correct thing to do was to call the police so we rang them.
“I gave a statement and my lad gave a statement that night.
“A few months later the police came and said Jade had an alibi that night.
“I was then arrested in front of my four-year-old son.
“They took our phones and computers, everything from the house and we were interviewed by police.
“I spent a long time at Skegness Police Station being interrogated and then released on bail.
“It was horrible, I cried through most of it.”
Lincoln Crown Court heard how farm worker Troop invented a story his ex girlfriend Jade Drayton and a group of men bundled him into a car with a paper bag over his head before dumping him on a stretch of road between Kelstern and Binbrook.
Miss Drayton was held in custody for six hours and then spent three months on bail before eventually being cleared.
The court was told Troop offered no explanation as to why he invented the kidnap claim and now says he has no memory of doing it.
Sentencing, Judge Simon Hirst described the offence as ‘bizarre’.
He told Troop: “The circumstances of this offending are bizarre.
“On your account you were taken hostage in a car and then dumped.
“You made it up. All of this was untrue.
“Why you did this is not clear.
“I do not for one moment accept that you have no recollection of this case.
“A considerable amount of police time was taken up investigating your allegation.
“This is a serious case of its type.
“The only sentence that can be imposed is an immediate custodial sentence.”
Mitigating, Giles Bedloe said Troop had health problems and had been diagnosed with a cardiac condition.
His health issues resulted in Troop losing his HGV licence and he subsequently switched jobs from lorry driving to running a chicken farm.
Mr Bedloe said: “The reality is that I cannot explain why this offence took place.
“Mr Troop is a man with virtually no criminal record.
“It is out of character. It is bizarre and is inexplicable.”
He said Troop was involved in charity work and had been a first responder with LIVES until being suspended following his arrest.
Troop was jailed on April 13 for 12 months after he pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice between April 28 and May 1, 2016.
Miss Wilson met Troop at the start of 2015 when he played on a pool team at her brother’s pub in Binbrook.
She said he was a ‘nice distraction’ as her mum became more and more ill.
The couple broke up after they were arrested in the summer of 2016.
Lincolnshire Police have declined to comment.
A spokesman told the Rasen Mail: “We don’t wish to comment at this time.”