A married woman who falsely accused her teenage lover of rape has been jailed after a court heard how she fooled the young man into believing he was the father of her child by using fake baby scans bought on eBay.

Sarah Dowson, 32, from Basingstoke, has been sent to prison for three years after admitted three counts of perverting the course of justice and one count of fraud at a hearing at Reading Crown Court.

Her husband Thomas Dowson, both of Hatch Warren, admitted to one count of perverting the course of justice and received a suspended sentence for nine months, suspended for 18 months.

Judge Angela Morris described Sarah’s conduct as “deliberate and vengeful, designed to cause trouble for the victim” who wanted to end their illicit relationship.

You can read the full story on page 19 of this week's paper. Also:

  • A major housing development that will see up to 3,520 homes built on land west of Basingstoke has been approved. Manydown, which has been five years in the making, was given the green light in a oneoff meeting of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s Development Control committee on Wednesday. It paves the way for the applicants, BDBC and Hampshire County Council, to enter into contracts. Read the full story on page 2.
  • A nurse who said she has felt “helpless” during the pandemic has launched a community face covering tree for Basingstoke, after teaching herself how to sew on a 40-year-old machine. Laura Rogers gave up her job as a midwife last year to be a full-time carer for her 17-year-old daughter, Sophie, who has epilepsy and special educational needs. She was due to return to work this year, but was unable to because of the pandemic, explaining: “My eldest daughter is shielding and so I couldn’t risk bringing anything back.” Read the full story on page 3.
  • Residents and councillors have hit out at a new booking system for tip across the county which is as hard to win as the lottery. One councillor revealed she tried to book a slot at Basingstoke’s Household Waste Recycling Centre 152 times – but was unsuccessful. Read the full story on page 4.
  • A woman is calling for Tesco to apologise after her Black disabled brother was falsely accused of shoplifting in an ordeal which caused their mother to have a panic attack. The Lazar family from Brighton Hill visited the supermarket on Sunday afternoon to buy food for a barbecue when security surrounded Marian as he tried to exit the Oakridge Road store. Read the full story on page 5.
  • Punters flocked to pubs across Basingstoke over the weekend as doors opened for the first time in four months. Pubgoers were in high spirits from 10am on Saturday, July 4, as they ordered their first pint whilst adhering to social distancing policy. Read the special report on pages 6 and 7.
  • The decision to recommend a compulsory purchase order on part of the Camrose land puts Hampshire County Council “in bed” with Basron, according to a leading official at Basingstoke Town Football Club. Read the full story on page 9.
  • Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council have rubber-stamped proposals that will see councillors given a two per cent increase in allowances. At last month’s full council meeting, councillors unanimously voted in favour of the proposals, which lifted the basic allowance of councillors to £7,299. Read the full report, and find out how much your representatives will earn this year, on pages 24 and 25.
  • Also in this week's paper: The latest from North Hampshire's Magistrates' Courts, including a 16-year-old boy charged with assaulting a police officer.
  • THREE pages of your letters to the editor.
  • Two pages of news from our communities.
  • Three pages of news from our districts.
  • One page of business news.
  • Three pages of entertainment news.
  • Two pages of sports news.
  • And much more!

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