The British teenager who was convicted of making up a story about a brutal gang rape in Cyprus has spoken out about the harrowing assault.
Back in the UK after being given a suspended sentence by a Cypriot court she described her ordeal at the hands of 12 Israelis, aged between 16 and 19, at a hotel in Ayia Napa.
She said the 12 men attacked her like animals as one perpetrator pinned her down on a dirty bed while others lined up to take advantage of her.
The teenager, now 19, said: ‘I thought if I don’t get out of here now, I’m going to die.
‘I don’t know how many of the 12 raped me. You don’t count, you couldn’t count.
‘They were lining up, excited, talking and shouting in Hebrew. I was trying to fight them off but I just couldn’t.
‘They were like a pack of animals — a pack of wolves.’
A 19-year-old woman from Derbyshire at Larnaca Airport before heading back to the UK. She was handed a suspended sentenced at the Famagusta District Court in Cyprus
The woman, from Derbyshire, told the Sun she went to Cyprus to work and holiday but ended up suffering an ordeal.
She says she was forced to sign a confession saying she made up the attack that was dictated to her by a male police officer.
The teenager has now filed an appeal to try and get her conviction overturned.
She said: ‘I told the truth. The fight has just begun.’
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was raped after striking up a ‘normal holiday romance’ with a young Israeli.
They went back to his ‘grotty’ hotel room in the early hours of the morning.
She recalled: ‘I knew he was leaving the next day so we started kissing. About five minutes later, I heard the sound of the room door opening and turned around.
‘He grabbed me and threw me on the bed.
‘He pinned my shoulders down by kneeling on them — he was well-built, strong — I couldn’t move. From under his knees, I turned and saw the light growing from the doorway.’
The 12 other attackers entered the room, she said: ‘Some of them grabbed my ankles, some held down my knees and they ripped my bodysuit.
‘I was trying to cross my legs all the time and every time I did, Sam would get angry. He grabbed one of my knees himself at one point. Then they took it in turns.’
Shimon Yusufov, 19, has been named as the Israeli who met the British student, also 19, while on holiday in Cyprus last July
For 20 minutes she was assaulted by the men, she said, before she was able to escape and tell police about the rape however they accused her of lying.
She was questioned for eight hours in an empty police station, without a lawyer, before she was pressured into signing a confession.
The woman had issues with the phrasing but the police officer ‘just lost it and shouted, ‘No! You write what I tell you to write!’
She said: ‘I knew straight away I’d done something really, really wrong by signing it.
‘I was panicking by now and I told a social worker in the police station what had happened. But she just said, ‘There’s nothing you can do now’.’
However, the teenager still had faith that a judge would recognise that the statement was written under extreme pressure.
Instead she was put through another six-month ordeal, first being put in prison where she lost two-and-a-half stone in weight, then being under house arrest.
In her prison diary, the victim described her nightmares where she relived the attack and the numbing drugs given to her by doctors.
One passage read: ‘At night I lie awake, sleep will not take me.
‘I can see their hands grabbing me, touching me. It makes me sick.’
Israeli tourists, accused of raping a 19-year-old British girl in Ayia Napa, arriving at the court premises with their faces covered in the eastern Cypriot resort of Paralimni in July
After five weeks behind bars she was granted bail but her family had to raise 20,000 euros to secure her release.
Her family also had to shell out thousands in living costs to support her while she was unable to leave the country, and the teen paid tribute to the many generous Brits at home to donated to her crowdfunding campaign.
Her dreams of becoming an anti-terror police officer, having got into university to study criminology, have been shattered by the post-traumatic stress disorder she suffers from.
Some days the teenager sleeps up to 20 hours, a symptom of trauma.
Top psychologist Dr Christine Tizzard is treating her but has warned that recovery could take years.
Even though she has been through so much the woman is adjusting to life back home, she said: ‘I’m getting to know my friends again. We’ve been out and I’m thinking about my future.
‘I’d like to go back to college maybe but I just need time to breathe.
‘The most I can manage is going to the gym with friends and spending time with my collie Kai. I can’t think further ahead than that yet.’