Leighanne Rumney, a 22-year old British woman and mother of one, came forward to attest to the suffering she endured at the hands of a group of gypsies in Portugal over an alleged affair with a married man.
"I noticed this man was taking an interest in me when I was working behind the bar but didn’t fancy him and never dated him," she said.
The man’s family, however, apparently became convinced that Rumney was having an affair with him, and moved to exact their revenge on the woman.
"I was very naive and made the mistake of getting into their car while trying to argue I was innocent then realised straight away I was in trouble. They drove me 45 minutes away from where I lived to a remote spot then opened and bag which I saw contained two knives and scissors," she said.
According to Rumney, she was convinced that her assailants intended to murder her, so she became paralysed by fear and remained quiet and motionless as the women stripped her naked and started stabbing her.
"They finally took the scissors and chopped off all my hair — it was some kind of a ritual to shame me — then left me with blood pouring from my wounds", she added.
Naked, dazed and suffering from severe blood loss, Rumney managed to crawl to a road where she caught the attention of a passing car’s driver and was rescued.
"I’ve been scarred for life — I have nine scars in total all over my back. I was covered in so much blood I thought I was dying and now have baths rather than showers because I get flashbacks of blood pouring down my body," she told the newspaper.
Rumney’s attackers — Rute Isabel Almeida, 40, Eliana Carvalho, 24, and their driver Tiago Soutenho, 22, all reportedly members of the local Roma gypsy community from Porches near Albufeira – were charged with kidnapping and assault, and are expected to stand trial next week.
"The Portuguese police took statements and took pictures of my injuries at the time but I’ve heard nothing since and didn’t even know there was a court case next week,"she said. "But I’m hoping these people finally get what they deserve for what they did to me."