Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Briton convicted of Cyprus false rape claim 'terrified' at prospect of jail, mother says

The woman was taken to the court by police officers. Credit: AP

The mother of a teenager facing prison in Cyprus after she was convicted of lying about a rape claim has told ITV News her daughter is "terrified" of being jailed.

The 19-year-old was found guilty of public mischief after she claimed she was raped by up to 12 Israeli tourists in a hotel room in the party town of Ayia Napa on July 17.

But she was charged and the dozen young men, aged between 15 and 20, who were arrested over the incident were freed after she signed a retraction statement 10 days later.

The woman - who cannot be named for legal reasons - claims she was pressured into changing her account by Cypriot police.

The teenager will be sentenced on Tuesday.

Her mother told ITV News "it would be devastating" if her daughter was handed a custodial sentence.

The woman has been on bail since the end of August, after spending a month in prison, and could face up to a year in jail and a £1,500 fine when she is sentenced.

Her legal team say they will appeal the decision and take it all the way to the European Court of Human Rights if necessary.

The woman was on a working holiday at the time of the alleged incident and was due to start university.

The woman was escorted by police during the trial. Credit: AP

She said her daughter is "terrified" of facing more time behind bars in Cyprus.

"She has been in Nicosia state prison before, she knows what it is like.

"She's going to go in there for a conviction for this offence, and people will know what she has been saying about Cyprus.

"I can't even begin to describe how upsetting that is."

The woman's mother continued: "The best outcome I could hope for tomorrow is for her to get a sentence where she can come home.

"She needs to be back in the UK for her treatment for PTSD and that is my number one priority."

Reflecting on the sentencing, the woman's mother said: "It's a massive evening for us, it's so difficult to explain just because we've been in various situations throughout the whole process.

"We just don't know what to think."

She went on to say "life won't be the same" for her daughter, even when she is allowed to return to the United Kingdom. But she remained adamant that she would "try to fit back into her life" after coming home.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab Credit: PA

On Sunday, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said he had conveyed concerns to his Cypriot counterpart over the treatment of the teenager.

The teenager's mother previously told ITV News her daughter's treatment in Cyprus was a "violation" of human rights as the case against her hinged on a retracted statement she signed while alone in the police station, without a lawyer, following questioning by detectives that was not recorded.

Appearing on Sky News' Sophy Ridge on Sunday, Mr Raab said: “I have conveyed our concerns about her treatment and the case to my Cypriot opposite number.

“I did that on Friday, and I also have also spoken to the young lady’s mother to see what more support we can provide to her.

“So we also need to be careful that we don’t do anything which aggravates the situation between now (and) the date of sentencing, which is on Tuesday.

“But the concerns that we have and that I have, have been squarely and firmly and categorically registered with the Cypriot authorities.”