Palma.—Mohamed Fadel F.A. took the stand for the first time at the Balearic High Court yesterday to answer questions regarding to charges against him of allegedly assaulting, raping and trying to kill a 21-year-old British resort worker in Magalluf on May 30, 2008.

The prosecution is pushing for a 23-year sentence if the Moroccan is found guilty, although his defense is built on the grounds that he was mentally ill at the time because of the medication he was taking to try and over come his heavy addiction to cocaine.

During yesterday's opening day of the case, the suspect refused to answer any of the questions put to him, he left that to his lawyer Carlos Portalo. He said that his client had been addicted to drugs between 2004 and his arrest and despite being diagnosed with a mental illness in Morocco, “he refused to tell anyone.” But, the court heard how Briton Cheryl M.M., who was aged 21 at the time, was making her way back to her apartment in the early hours of May 30 after finishing work. She apparently bumped into the Moroccan in the stairwell of her building and he asked her for a cigarette. She said that she immediately began to empty out her small bag because she was scared she was going to be robbed.

Answering the prosecution's questions she explained that she apparently then continued upstairs towards her flat only to be followed by the suspect who claimed that some friends of his lived up there as well.

But, when she went to close the door to her flat, the suspect apparently punched her in the face then put his hand over her mouth and apparently dragged the victim inside, locking the door behind him. He then apparently dragged her out on to the balcony and dropped his trousers while she cried. “I was in a state of shock” she told the court.

She was then apparently made to shower and then dragged to the bed where she was allegedly raped.
However, it appears that her ordeal did not end there. The suspect apparently put his hands around her neck and held them there until the British woman passed out. “When I woke up I was on the floor, alone and confused. There was blood on the floor and my chest,” she said.
Moments later, her attacker apparently returned to the room, ordering her to return to bed. “He threw me back into bed and made me face the wall,” she stated.

According to the victim, it was then that her alleged attacker emerged from the bathroom wielding a knife - which was shown as evidence yesterday - and apparently stabbed her in the neck. “I started to scream, I thought I was going to die and then he stabbed me again in the thorax,” the Briton said. “I then noticed I was making a strange noise breathing, I thought I could no longer breathe,” she added. “I stayed on the bed, trying to breathe slowly as not to make a noise and waited until he left,” she said. “I then waited a few minutes and managed to drag myself to a restaurant on the corner downstairs where I asked for help. “It was the worst experience of my life,” she said, adding that ever since her ordeal she has needed regular psychological treatment for panic attacks she suffers day and night “because I'm terrified it will happen again,” The public prosecutor wants the suspect, if found guilty, to pay 20'000 euros in compensation for the injuries incurred but when asked, the British victim said that she does not want any cash compensation, all she wants is for her attacker to be jailed.

The case continues today with Fadel F.A. back behind bars on remand in Palma prison last night.

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