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March 18, 2024 4 mins
At the height of lockdown, 19-year-old Ellie Williams claims on social media she’s been trafficked by an Asian grooming gang across the North of England. Photos of her horrific injuries add to the outrage and the post goes viral – shared more than 100 thousand times.
Social media rumours lead to attacks on Asian men and businesses in her hometown of Barrow-in-Furness. But when she’s arrested for perverting the course of justice, things really explode and there are protest rallies and claims of a cover-up. At the trial the prosecution claims she’d lied, faked text messages and even caused the catalogue of injuries to herself.  
 
In season 6 of StoryCast, Sky News’ Jason Farrell and Liz Lane, who reported on the case at the time, return to Barrow to investigate what could have led her to make these claims and if, underneath it all, there is some other secret buried amongst the lies.
With access to her family, police investigators and those most impacted by her allegations, we ask: Why did Ellie Williams create such an elaborate lie? And what happened AFTER the trial – once all the media attention died down and other allegations began to emerge? 
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