The founder of a Salisbury based charity, Rainbow Rooms UK, has found his life ‘torn apart’ and being falsely accused of rape by a conman who pretended to be a vulnerable gay teenager.
Shane Peake, 26, who also used the pseudonym Steven Shaw, claimed to have left his home in Yorkshire after having been thrown out by his family for being gay.
Will Clark – who founded and ran Rainbow Rooms from it’s Salisbury base for the last six years supporting gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender young people – spent several weeks trying to help Peake after Wiltshire Council placed him in supported lodgings, but when he began to have doubts about the young man’s story and questioned him, Peake accused him of rape.
Detectives investigating the allegation uncovered a number of aliases used by Peake and he was arrested. It was also then discovered that Peake had also stolen from his carers and Mr Clark, it was revealed.
Mr Clark, told the Salisbury Journal that “his life fell apart ‘beyond repair’ following the fake rape claims and that he had become depressed and ended up in hospital following an overdose.
“I was destroyed. I was devastated and I couldn’t believe what was being said about me. I went to pieces, mentally and physically.” Mr Clark continued. Wiltshire Police told him within days that no evidence had been found to support the rape claim and no charges would be brought against him, but this stil meant that Mr Clark had to wait for three months while the case was brought to court.
Following the trial, which was held at Salisbury Crown Court, Peake was jailed for four and a half years after he admitted the charges of theft, burglary, fraud and perverting the course of justice
Unfortunately Mr Clark had to close down the award-winning charity and says that he cannot see it re-opening. ‘Everything was tarnished by what he said I did. He has destroyed not just my reputation but the reputation of the charity. Everything the charity was and all it did in the community has gone. It is such a huge loss’, he stated.
Detective Constable Cat Isaac of Wiltshire Police said: ‘This case has had a massive impact on Will Clark. His life has been torn apart by Peake’s actions.’We hope all those people who were deceived by Peake and have suffered as a consequence will be reassured by the sentence.’