British tourist, 19, lands in the UK after being convicted of lying about ...

A British teenager who avoided jail after she was found guilty of lying about being gang-raped by 12 Israeli men has landed back in the United Kingdom - as she insists 'I am innocent' and vows 'the fight will go on to clear my name'.

The 19-year-old from Derbyshire, who MailOnline has decided not to name, flew into London's Heathrow Airport on a British Airways flight from Larnaca, Cyrpus shortly after 10pm.     

The traumatised youngster and her parents were given special treatment and were allowed to leave the plane first and exit via the airport's VIP lounge, as they were ushered through the airport by UK police.

The teenager was finally allowed to leave Cyprus after a judge gave her a four-month suspended sentence after convicting her of lying.

Her arrival back in the UK ends her rape and police ordeal that led her to spend five weeks in jail and almost five months under house arrest.

Cypriot authorities finally handed her passport back today enabling her to leave the country.

Speaking ahead of her flight home, the woman, who insists she is innocent, said 'my fight goes on' adding that the experience has been a 'nightmare' and that she now wants to spend time with her family and friends.

The 19 year old was photographed before she was due to board a British Airways flight with her mother from Larnaca airport in Cyprus and was mobbed by supporters who had earlier chanted for her release outside the court room

The 19 year old was photographed before she was due to board a British Airways flight with her mother from Larnaca airport in Cyprus and was mobbed by supporters who had earlier chanted for her release outside the court room

The teenager, from Derbyshire, has been stuck on the island after claiming she was raped by up to 12 Israeli tourists in a hotel room in the party town of Ayia Napa on July 17 (she is pictured preparing to leave Cyprus)

The teenager, from Derbyshire, has been stuck on the island after claiming she was raped by up to 12 Israeli tourists in a hotel room in the party town of Ayia Napa on July 17 (she is pictured preparing to leave Cyprus) 

There were touching scenes at the entrance to the airport terminal when the teen was met by her supporters (she is pictured as she prepares to fly back to the UK)

There were touching scenes at the entrance to the airport terminal when the teen was met by her supporters (she is pictured as she prepares to fly back to the UK)

The girl and her mum had hoped to catch an earlier flight back to the UK but were unable to pack up their belongings in time to make the flight (the youngster is pictured preparing to fly out this evening)

The girl and her mum had hoped to catch an earlier flight back to the UK but were unable to pack up their belongings in time to make the flight (the youngster is pictured preparing to fly out this evening) 

Two passengers on the fully booked 7.30pm flight were offered 500 Euros to give up their seats to allow the mother and daughter to fly home (the teenager is pictured preparing to fly home from Cyprus)

Two passengers on the fully booked 7.30pm flight were offered 500 Euros to give up their seats to allow the mother and daughter to fly home (the teenager is pictured preparing to fly home from Cyprus)

Speaking to The Sun, she said: 'What kept me going was my family and the amazing support of my friends and all other people who got in contact to say they believed me.

'Now, at last, I can go home to my own bed. I'm even looking forward to the cold weather back in England!'

She added: 'I want to thank everyone who has supported me. I am innocent and the fight will go on to clear my name.'

The woman broke down and hugged her family this morning after a judge handed her a four-month suspended sentence.  

The girl's mother said tonight ahead of their return flight: 'We are delighted to be going home where we will continue the fight to clear my daughter's name. The fight is not over to get justice.' 

There were touching scenes at the entrance to the airport terminal in Cyprus when the teen was met by her supporters. With her face covered by a sweater, the teen thanked the women while one of the Israeli women told her 'The men you met are not representative of Israel.' 

The teen's mother who was close to tears, thanked the group and said:' I would love to come to Israel to see you. 'We cannot thank you enough for all your support.'  

The girl and her mother had hoped to catch an earlier flight back to the UK but were unable to pack up their belongings in time to make the flight.  

The 19-year-old woman from Derbyshire is swept away from court today and is expected to leave on a flight to Britain in the coming hours after receiving a suspended sentence in the controversial Cyprus rape case

Shimon Yusufov is pictured with the British teenager who accused him and 11 of his friends from Israel of gang raping her in a hotel in Ayia Napa

The 19-year-old woman from Derbyshire is swept away from court today and is expected to leave on a flight to Britain in the coming hours after receiving a suspended sentence in the controversial Cyprus rape case (left). The teenage Israeli footballer at the centre of the case Shimon Yusufov (together right), who denied rape, hit back today with his lawyer saying: 'We hope she's learned her lesson'

The girl's mother held her arms aloft to the throng outside Famagusta District Court in Paralimni today as she described her daughter's relief but added that she is 'innocent' and declared: 'She's coming home'

The girl's mother held her arms aloft to the throng outside Famagusta District Court in Paralimni today as she described her daughter's relief but added that she is 'innocent' and declared: 'She's coming home'

Two passengers on the fully booked 7.30pm flight were offered 500 Euros to give up their seats to allow the mother and daughter to fly home. 

It is not known if the pair who accepted the offer knew it was the girl at the centre of the rape case. 

The teenager and her mother were met at the airport by a member of the British Embassy who had pre-checked them on to the 4hr and 30min flight back to Heathrow. 

Earlier today the Israeli footballer who had a holiday fling with the British teenager who later accused him and 11 friends of gang-raping her in Ayia Napa taunted her as she was freed and said: 'I hope she has learned her lesson'.

The 19-year-old was in a consensual relationship with semi-pro footballer Shimon Yusufov, also 19, but told police he held her down while she was raped by a gang of 12 who also filmed it on their mobile phones in a hotel room after a night out last July. 

Yusufov, who plays for Beit Shemesh FC near Jerusalem, denied rape along with his 11 friends but said today he accepted she should be allowed to return to Britain after six hellish months in Cyprus.

His lawyer Nir Yaslovitzh told MailOnline: 'He takes the opinion that justice has been done. She was found guilty by the court of lying and I hope with this sentence she has learned her lesson. We respect the decision of the court and of course she was found guilty.' 

Tel Aviv based Yaslovitch said the girl would be 'stupid' to launch an appeal against her conviction for public mischief, adding: 'The appeal court will hear the same evidence and come to the same conclusion. It is a crazy thing to do'.  

The young Briton was mobbed by hundreds of supporters as she left Famagusta District Court in Paralimni and was swept away to a hotel where she will be handed back her passport and taken to the airport for a flight to the UK this afternoon.

After the sentencing, with tears in her eyes, she said she was 'relieved' before her mother held her arms aloft and yelled to supporters: 'She's coming home'. 

But she remains a convicted criminal because the suspended sentence handed down today meant a pledge by Cyprus' President Nicos Anastasiades to pardon her if she was jailed never materialised.  Her appeal will be filed this week but her legal team hope Mr Anastasiades will still step in.    

There was singing and chanting from supporters who say she was betrayed by police and the legal system in Cyprus

There was singing and chanting from supporters who say she was betrayed by police and the legal system in Cyprus

The British teenager found guilty of lying about being gang-raped in Cyprus has been spared jail and handed a four-month suspended sentence - meaning she will fly home today

The British teenager found guilty of lying about being gang-raped in Cyprus has been spared jail and handed a four-month suspended sentence - meaning she will fly home today

Relief: The Israeli men accused of rape were quickly whisked back to Israel after their release from Famagusta police headquarters in July (pictured hugging), arriving at Ben Gurion airport to chants of 'the Brit is a whore'

Briton, 19, is free to go home - but remains a convicted criminal after presidential pardon failed to materialise

The teenager at the centre of the controversial Ayia Napa rape case is heading back to Britain but has a criminal record.

She was given a suspended sentence and her passport back today after the judge in Famagusta opted not to jail her.  

Cyprus' President Nicos Anastasiades was reportedly not willing to let the 19-year-old go to prison and would have pardoned her to ensure she got free passage to the UK because of the international furore over her case.  

He has not needed to intervene meaning her criminal record remains, for now. 

Human rights lawyer, Mark Stephens, a partner at London law firm Howard Kennedy LLP called the sentence 'not ideal - but a practical solution because it allows her to 'come home'.

He added: 'She should never have been prosecuted or convicted'. 

Ritsa Pekri, the girl's Cypriot lawyer, said the appeal against her conviction will be filed by the end of the week. 

Three Appeal Court judges sitting in Nicosia will hear the case which is expected to last two days. 

Pekri said appeals usually take a year but given the publicity surrounding this case it will be fast tracked.

Justice Michelins Papathanasiou, who had been heavily criticised for his aggressive attitude towards the teenager and his handling of previous rape trials, said the young Briton, whose case caused international revulsion, deserved a 'second chance'. 

Delivering his sentence the judge admitted he had been 'troubled' by the case and let her go because of her 'clean criminal record, her youthfulness, her regret, her emotional state of mind when she gave the false deposition and the emotional circumstances'.

He added: 'The fact she's stayed in Cyprus for the past months away from her country, her friends, her normal life in general as well as the loss of her academic year. This has led me to decide to give her a second chance'. 

The Gemini Project, a charity supporting victims of sexual violence, has been supporting the woman from Britain including regular protests outside the Cypriot Embassy in London.

A spokesman said: 'The fight continues to get all charges against the victim dropped, and to achieve justice in her gang rape case. For now, let's bring her home, reunite her with her family and begin the long journey to recovery. This is not the end of a long fight for justice'.

And on the judge saying she deserves a 'second chance' the group added: 'We are unsurprised by the sentence but disgusted how it's leniency was framed as a kindness to the young woman when it is anything but. If we live in a just world we would expect to see the resignation or sacking of anyone involved in this corrupt case after a full investigation, charges dropped, a public apology, compensation for the victim, and systemic changes in Cyprus. This is an ideal unlikely to happen but if Cyprus cared about protecting women it is what should happen'.

And Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab suggested he will still push for a pardon and said today: 'We will be following up on some of the issues in relation to the case. I spoke to the Cypriot foreign minister about that'.

The 19 year old's mother held her arms aloft as she left court and said her vulnerable daughter, who is suffering from PTSD, has hallucinations when she hears foreign male voices and a disorder that sees her sleeping 20 hours a day was 'just relieved' that she can go home for the first time since last July. 

The teenager's mother said: 'On behalf of the family, I would like to say we are very relieved at the sentence that has been passed down today.

'I would also like to say thank you for all the support we have received throughout the globe.'

Addressing applauding supporters, she added: 'I just want to thank each and every one of you for turning up today, having belief, having faith and making sure we get justice.'

She added that the 19-year-old should never have been convicted of any crime and her QC Lewis Power added: 'The fight for her innocence will go on regardless'.

The woman will file her appeal to Cyprus' supreme court to get her conviction overturned by the end of the week - but she is unlikely to return to the Mediterranean island ever again when she leaves later today. 

The young Briton should have been starting university but instead has been trapped on the holiday island where she insists she was raped and was coerced by investigators to retract her claim

The young Briton should have been starting university but instead has been trapped on the holiday island where she insists she was raped and was coerced by investigators to retract her claim

Close to tears herself and holding her arms aloft, her mother said the entire ordeal had been 'very stressful' and that the family were looking forward to returning to the UK. 

Timeline: Six month ordeal of British woman 'raped' by 12 Israelis

July 2019

The young woman from Derbyshire heads to Ayia Napa for a holiday before she is due to start university in September. She meets an Israeli footballer and they have a holiday romance. 

Wednesday July 17 2019

The 19-year-old goes to the police and claims that she was pinned down and raped by up to 12 men, including her new lover, in the early hours of that morning. 

These dozen men, aged between 15 and 22, are arrested and remanded in custody.  

Thursday July 17

Five of the men are freed after police say there is no DNA evidence linking them to the alleged rape.

Saturday July 27

The teenager, who had been told to stay in Cyprus, was asked to give a statement to police. She says she is but is then subjected to eight hours of question - and a request for a lawyer is not agreed to.

She was then charged 'giving a false statement over an imaginary offence' after giving a written confession to detectives

Sunday July 28

The remaining seven Israeli men are released and rushed back to their home country  

Tuesday July 30

The teenager appears in court and is remanded in custody having been formally charged with 'public mischief' - an offence for lying to police

Tuesday August 6

She then revokes her confession claiming she was coerced into giving it

Tuesday August 27

After five weeks in a Cyprus jail she is bailed. She cannot leave the island and must report in to police before her trial 

Monday October 15

Her trial begins. The case is before a judge - not a jury as pressure grows in Cyprus and abroad for the case to be dismissed

Thursday December 12

The final judgment is delayed until December 30 - meaning she must spend Christmas on the island. Her mother says she has PTSD and is depressed 

Monday December 30

Judge Michalis Papathanasiou finds her guilty based on the police evidence and her confession. 

Tuesday January 7 2020 

The judge said he was giving her a 'second chance' and suspended her prison sentence.  Her lawyer Lewis Power QC said she will be returning home later on Tuesday but said her legal team would be challenging her conviction and were prepared to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights.  

She also said she was very grateful to the intervention by the Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab: adding: 'I spoke with him and he was very supportive. I am grateful to the Foreign Office.' 

The mother wore a unicorn brooch that had been given to her by one of the protestors who had flown from Israel to show support for her daughter. She also thanked all the members of the public who had contributed more than £130,000 to a fund raising campaign to help pay legal fees. 

Officials from the British embassy were present in court and it is believed flight arrangements for the girl to return to the UK have already been made. 

Speaking on the steps of court afterwards her lawyer Lewis Power QC said the family is delighted she would be able return home - but added her ordeal in Cyprus exposed the 'gaping chasm' in the treatment of women abroad who report a sex crimes.  

Mr Power said: 'This has been an incredibly sad and tragic case for a young teenage girl from Derbyshire, a once happy and gregarious young girl who like so many of her age group came over to Cyprus with all the excitement of a young traveller and with high aspirations to attend university thereafter.

'She was on the cusp of embarking upon a new chapter in her life but under the most dire circumstances she went overnight from being victim to

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