False rape claims 'part of €800,000 insurance scam'
Published 09/08/2010 | 05:00
A Swedish woman falsely accused several holidaymakers on a Greek island of raping her as part of an insurance scam, a lawyer has claimed
Men have been warned to be on their guard after the 26 year-old woman claimed a total of €800,000 in insurance after lodging allegations of rape on the island of Kos.
It is believed that her victims include at least four Britons, according to a lawyer representing one of the falsely accused. An international hunt involving Greek and Swedish police and Interpol has failed to find the woman, described as an attractive blonde.
Ross Mitchell, a teacher from Nottinghamshire, England, met his accuser while on holiday in June 2008. He was jailed and forced to pay £2,000 (€2,400) bail before the case collapsed when the woman fled the country. He is still waiting for the money to be returned.
He had met her in Kardamena, a busy resort popular with young Britons.
It is believed Mr Mitchell was working in a bar when they met. She claimed he tried to rape her in her hotel room.
Mr Mitchell, who denied all allegations, was charged and held in custody. In her initial complaint, the woman said she could identify him only from the smell of his sweat and his hairstyle.
She then fled to her native Sweden and failed to attend a subsequent magistrates' court hearing. It is believed that she denies the allegations.
According to the Greek media, she was involved in "organised fraud" and was "fabricating charges of being raped so that she could draw large amounts of insurance as compensation".
Mr Mitchell was freed on bail before the case was formally dropped. His lawyer, Alcybiades Hajantonis, said Swedish authorities disclosed that she had pulled the scam on at least three other occasions, claiming €200,000.
Mr Mitchell said yesterday he was "stunned" to be told that the woman was a serial con artist. "I had no idea there were allegations she had done this to other men."
His father, Les, said the case had been a "nightmare" for his son.
"Being a teacher, he doesn't really want all this publicised," he said. "Even a false accusation can ruin a career. It's certainly affected him. The whole thing was a load of rubbish from start to finish, but the police took it seriously." (© Daily Telegraph, London)