Unreliable Witness | Storycast

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? 

For more investigative stories from the award-winning Sky News StoryCast strand, listen to our past seasons.  
 
SEASON 5: Patient 11 (2024) 
Following the death of her brother, young mother Alexis Quinn seeks temporary respite in NHS psychiatric care, never imagining that three days, would turn into more than three year ordeal that would ultimately expose a national scandal. 
 
SEASON 4: StoryCast 21 (2021) 
Through extraordinary personal stories, Sky News revisits 21 of the world’s biggest news events this century. 
  
SEASON 3: Polonium and The Piano Player (2020) 
Two Russian agents release a miniature nuclear weapon in a 5-star London hotel. But former KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko is not the only victim. 
  
SEASON 2: What happened to Annie? (2019)  
In 2005, the body of 30-year-old Swedish woman, Annie Börjesson, was found on Prestwick beach in Scotland. Could one of the world’s most secretive security agencies be behind her death? 
 
SEASON 1: The Hunt for the Brinks-Mat Gold (2018) 
In 1983, an armed gang stole £26m in gold bars from a high-security depot near Heathrow Airport. Dubbed the crime of the century, the heist changed the face of Britain’s criminal landscape and the life of one undercover Scotland Yard detective.  
  

by Sky News - 104 episodes

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