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British woman given four month suspended sentence over 'false' rape claim

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Protesters shout slogans outside a court before the arrival of a 19 year-old British woman that was found guilty of making up claims she was raped by up to 12 Israelis.
Protesters shout slogans outside a court before the arrival of a 19 year-old British woman that was found guilty of making up claims she was raped by up to 12 Israelis.   -  
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(AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
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A British woman has been given a four-month suspended sentence after being found guilty of lying about being gang-raped by 12 Israelis at a resort in Cyprus.

The woman, then aged 19, reported the men for attacking her at a resort in Ayia Napa in 2019 but later retracted the claim.

After the men, aged between 15 and 20, were released, she was charged with "public mischief" and found guilty of that charge last week.

Judge Michalis Papathanasiou said that he decided to give the woman a “second chance” because she admitted that she made a mistake in making the false rape claim.

He also cited other reasons including her young age, immaturity, personal circumstances, psychological condition and the fact that she had already spent almost month in detention during the six months her trial lasted.

He said that the sentence could be activated if she commits another serious offence within three years.

'A nightmare'

Speaking last week. Nicoletta Charalambidou. the woman's lawyer, claims her client was denied access to a lawyer when investigators questioned her about the case in July 2019.

“The message is that the way [this case] has been tried, it says to women that they should think twice before reporting rape and violence because they never know how it will turn out,” Charalambidou said.

The lawyer added that the ordeal had been a nightmare for the young woman’s family, with her mother quitting work in order to remain in Cyprus with her for the duration of the case. Her client spent a month in jail before being released on bail earlier this year.

“This is a nightmare for her. It has destroyed her whole way of life, personally and as a family. The priority now is to get our client home, so she can get on with her life,” she said.

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