Tyne & Wear

Waiter jailed for Majorca rape of County Durham woman

A man who raped a British woman on the Spanish island of Majorca has been jailed for 23 years.

Cheryl Maddison, who has waived her right to anonymity, was also repeatedly stabbed in Magaluf in May 2008.

The attack on the 25-year-old, from Houghton-le-Spring, County Durham, only ended when she pretended to be dead.

Mohamed Fadel El Anssari was sentenced to 11 years for sexual assault and 12 for attempted murder after being found guilty by a panel of judges.

The Moroccan waiter attacked Ms Maddison after following her home.

She had only arrived in the holiday island a few days' earlier to work in a bar.

'Over the moon'

El Anssari's defence team had argued that incriminating traces of his DNA found on a cigarette should not be admitted because police had not followed correct procedure.

However, in a written sentence, the panel led by judge Francisca Ramis Rosello said: "Given the seriousness of the crime and the time of year it took place, with the possibility that it would happen again after similar incidents had occurred in previous summers, taking the DNA sample was correct and necessary."

After sentencing, Cheryl Maddison said on her Facebook page: "It's been a tough four-and-a-half years.

"Even tougher month last month, having to go to Spain and face my fears in court.

"But it's all been worth it. Absolutely over the moon to say he's been sentenced to 23 years."

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