Two British Women Were Strip Searched And Locked In Greek Prison Cell For 'Prank'
A pair of British women have told how they were strip searched and locked in a blood-stained police cell for three days after a holiday prank backfired on the Greek island of Corfu.
The women had saved for months to pay for their £2,000 ($2,600) package holiday but it was ruined when a 'harmless prank' went wrong.
Shona Cox and Vicki Albone, 20, met a group of boys at the beach on August 24 and after an afternoon together they hid one of the guy's clothes a few sunbeds down while he went swimming.
The pair then found themselves locked up and starved for 24 hours and lumped with £1,600 ($2,100) of legal bills after being accused of nicking clothes and a £400 Rolex watch.
We're just shocked that one person could be wearing £1,200 worth of clothes.
Airport worker Shona said: "It was the most terrifying and traumatic experience of our lives. From start to finish, we were both treated so badly and I've never seen anything like it.
"No one explained anything to us but we were summoned into a room and strip searched. The cells were absolutely gruesome. There was graffiti on the walls and there was urine all over the floor.
"There was writing on the walls smeared in blood. The mattresses were rotten and there was liquid spewing out the side of one.
"I was forced to sleep on the bare mattress and was not given a sheet, pillow, a blanket or anything. Smoking was also allowed in the cells so it stunk of stale cigarettes."
Earlier on Saturday, Shona and teaching assistant Vicki had been on Issos Beach where they had met a group of Greek boys.
She added: "As the night went on I dared one of them, named Christoper, to run into the sea in just his boxers as we thought it would be funny. As he did, his two friends started laughing and got their phones out to record him.
"While he was in the sea, we grabbed his clothes from a sun lounger and ran off a bit further up the beach and put his clothes about 10 sun loungers along. We thought it was a harmless joke and went back to the hotel."
But they were shocked to be met by a team of police officers in the lobby of the four star Labranda Sandy Beach resort that evening.
The police demanded Shona and Vicki returned the stolen clothes and Rolex or face arrest. The duo claim that Christopher had fabricated a story that Shona had stolen his property, but she denies ever touching a watch.
Shona, from Saffron Walden, Essex, added: "He said that his friends had chased me back to my hotel room and saw us go in with the clothes and the watch. That was a complete lie, we did not touch a watch and no one chased us anywhere.
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"The police said that if we didn't hand over the watch, they would have to arrest me. Even after numerous times explaining to them that we didn't take the clothes or the watch they still asked us to give it back and eventually arrested me."
They were thrown into the back of a police vehicle and taken to a station and made to give a written statement. Greek police demanded they find a lawyer despite it being Saturday evening.
After a three-hour search for an English-speaking lawyer, statements were written, they were strip searched and locked in a cell, according to the girls.
Their phones were confiscated and were returned to them for 15 minutes the following day when they contacted their families and captured footage of the cell.
Shona explained how at one point she threw up and instead of helping her, a security guard 'threw boiled sweets' at her.
They were denied food and fresh water until 8pm on Sunday, having not eaten since lunch time before their arrest the previous day.
"We were given one meal the whole time we were locked up and weren't even given fresh water. The water was warm and dirty. My basic human rights were just taken away and no one cared.
"I'd like to think I'm quite a strong person but I have never cried so much or been so scared in my life."
They were taken out of the cell for a brief stint as police took them back to the hotel and searched the room from top to bottom, before locking them up again.
And after being taken to court the following day, a hearing was delayed as the witnesses had flown back to Athens and needed to return.
Shona continued: "We were taken to court on Monday but it was delayed until Wednesday while the boys could return from Athens to testify. We were allowed to sleep in the hotel for the following days but we were terrified.
"My dream holiday and my first trip abroad had been ruined and all I could think of is 'am I going to be sent to jail here for something I did not do?'"
Shona did not attend court on Wednesday and her lawyer dealt with the case in her absence.
She added: "We spent the whole of Wednesday in fear, waiting for that call and we did not hear anything until 5pm that afternoon to say that we were found not guilty. We were allowed to go home first thing the next day.
"This is a warning to everyone before they go to Greece, it may be a nice destination to go to but if a time comes that you're in trouble and you actually need help, this is how they treat you."
The foreign office has been contacted for comment.
Featured Image Credit: SWNS