July 2008: Teenager Charlotte Lane claims to have been the victim of a stranger rape in Southampton. As usual, the police take such a claim seriously, and make an arrest. The man arrested tells them the sex was consensual, and unlike her, witnesses, CCTV and phone records back up his account.

When she appears at Southampton Crown Court in February 2009 to plead guilty to perverting the course of justice, her advocate tells the judge she made up the allegation as an “expression of regret” for having had sex with the man, failing to see that regret was not the same as a lack of consent. From this account she sounds less like Charlotte Lane than the man who wrote Arnold Layne, certainly one is entitled to ask if alcohol was the only drug she had ingested. The comments section of the foregoing Southern Daily Echo report is, er, interesting!

Sadly, that problem is all too common, and in one form or another accounts for probably the majority of so-called date rapes.

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