A woman has told of her ordeal in a Dubai prison after being imprisoned for having sex outside marriage.
Rebecca Blake, from Surrey, was jailed for a crime she did not commit and ended up serving 95 days in a 'filthy' cell.
Speaking to the Sunday Express, the 30-year-old said she was forced to lie about being married or she would face a more severe punishment for adultery and could have been stoned to death.
The recruitment consultant was accused of having sex in the back of a taxi with her friend Conor McRedmond 28, from Tullamore, Co. Offaly and they spent a year fighting the allegations.
Ms Blake said her lawyer told her to keep the fact she was already technically married, from six years ago, a secret as if the authorities knew she was married she could be charged with the more serious crime of adultery.
Now back in Britain, Ms Blake said: 'It feels like a surreal nightmare. I still wake up in the night panicking, thinking I'm back in that cell.'
Blake and McRedmond were arrested on May 4 last year after meeting at a brunch then going on a drinking binge – getting a taxi together at 10pm.
Taxi driver Qaiser Khan, 30, claimed within minutes of getting in, Blake had taken her top off and was writhing on top of McRedmond while ‘making the sounds of a woman having sex’.
He told prosecutors earlier this year: ‘They kept having sex for four minutes. The man’s shirt was open, his trousers were down to his knees and the woman was not wearing any underwear.’
The taxi driver alleged Blake offered him ‘a lot of money’ to tell prosecutors they had been kissing rather than having sex, but he refused.
They said the allegations had been made up after they rowed with the taxi driver about taking a longer route home.
Their lawyer Shaker al Shammary yesterday said the statements of the two witnesses were inconsistent, adding: ‘They threatened to complain about the taxi driver and he beat them to it – yet there is no mention of their dispute in the Supreme Court judgment.
‘The medical records show what the witnesses said was not true but this was not taken into account in the ruling.’
McRedmond had said earlier this year: ‘We find ourselves in exactly the same position we were in after the original verdict but thousands of pounds poorer.
‘Any court in the world would accept the medical evidence above all else. I love Dubai and wanted to carry on living here but I am left without a choice.’
There were fears their failure to clear their names was part of a crackdown from Dubai authorities on expats flouting their strict rules.
Vince Acors and Michelle Palmer, a British couple caught having sex on a beach, were treated more leniently in 2008 when they were convicted on the same charge of indecency and ordered to serve three months in prison, but received a suspended sentence on appeal.