By David Scott
Gordon Ritchie’s life was left in tatters after scheming Natalie Mortimer lied to police, claiming he had subjected her to sexual abuse when she was a child.
But her mother, Susan Simpson, began to have doubts about the story and Mortimer, 25, eventually admitted that the allegations were false.
Mortimer had previously been told that she and her younger sibling would be entitled to a share of inheritance money from Mr Ritchie.
But she believed that she would get all the cash if her grandfather was sent to prison. Mortimer admitted wasting 175 hours of police time – at a cost to taxpayers of more than £3,000 – when she appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court.
Jailing her yesterday, Sheriff Graeme Buchanan said she had committed a “truly evil” crime.
He said: “False allegations of rape and other sexual offences are very serious because they put doubts in the minds of jurors in genuine cases and they subject innocent people such as Mr Ritchie to a terrifying ordeal of suspicion and investigation by police.”
“What you did to Mr Ritchie was truly evil and despicable and there is only one appropriate sentence for this behaviour and that is imprisonment.”
Mortimer, of Aberdeen, lodged complaints with police about her grandfather on various occasions between August 2012 and March last year.
She claimed he had repeatedly raped and sexually assaulted her.
Mortimer had lived with her grandfather and grandmother, Margaret, before she made the false accusations.
Mr Ritchie even paid for her to go to counselling when she began suffering mood swings. But she packed her bags and moved to London. She went to a police station in Chiswick and made the first of her false allegations.
Mortimer claimed to have been raped by Mr Ritchie over a two-year period when she was at primary school.
The distraught pensioner was on holiday with Mortimer’s 15-year-old half-sister when police began investigating the claims.
The former foster carer had to cut his holiday short.
He was then asked not to have any contact with children under 16.
Foster children who had been in his care previously were also questioned. Mortimer spoke to a string of detectives during the investigation.
But she later admitted to her mother that she had made the claims up and Ms Simpson went to the police.
Lynne Freeland, defending, told the court Mortimer was jealous of her half-sister, and realised she should have addressed those feelings a long time ago.
Ms Freeland said: “She is deeply ashamed and is embarrassed by her actions and has described it as greedy, selfish and cruel.”
“Miss Mortimer has huge emotional issues.”
“Sadly time can’t go back and she can’t turn back time on this horrendous crime.”
“She understands that this will have torn lives apart.”