THE ScottishGovernmenthas been asked to consider proposals to make false allegations against another person a hate crime.

The call was made by a woman who says she was the victim of “malicious and destructive” false accusations.

Frances Nixon has lodged a petition urging ministers to change the law in Scotland so anyone who “deliberately and maliciously makes false accusations against another person” faces either criminal charges in serious cases or a heavy fine in less serious cases. In her submission, Nixon details her own experiences, saying she was arrested and could have faced a trial and jail time as a result of the allegations if she had not had a witness.

Nixon wrote: “The malicious allegations made full use of present laws, were well thought-out and planned and I believe others were asked to collaborate in the allegations.

“Without a witness I would now be serving a long prison sentence.”

She added: “Unbelievably, the perpetrators walked free, unpunished, as the procurator fiscal chose to not proceed with their prosecution as it was deemed ‘not in the public interest’. As a victim of false allegation, I had to fight every inch of the long, hard road to retain my freedom and sanity.

“While I was an innocent victim, and not convicted by any court, I struggled to have my details removed from Police Scotland data records. I am still fighting for justice, hence my petition. The law has to change to protect good citizens like myself.”

The petitioner claimed those who make false allegations and face no consequences might be likely to make further false allegations in future. Responding at the Public Petitions Committee at Holyrood yesterday, Tory MSP Brian Whittle said: “What struck me is this idea that if you are in a trial and you wilfully give false evidence, that’s a criminal offence, that’s perjury. So, I understand completely where the petitioner is coming from.

Convener Johann Lamont backed a suggestion from SNP MSP Gail Ross, who said: “There is new hate crime legislation currently being worked up, so I think we need to write to the Scottish Government and ask them if they had considered this and if they would consider it.”