Marina Fanouraki, a Greek woman, will appear in court today after being charged with assault for setting fire to a British tourist in Crete after he allegedly pulled down his trousers in front of her. The incident occured in the holiday resort of Malia in which the 26-year-old woman allegedly poured a highly-flammable liquid over the man and set fire to it with a lighter.
Twenty-year-old Stuart Feltham from Swindon suffered second-degree burns and is recovering in a private clinic. He has been reported as having suffered burns to his genitals, but the Foreign Office said it understood that his chest and abdomen were injured.
“We can confirm that in the early hours of Tuesday, a British male national was assaulted in Crete. We understand he suffered burns. He has been receiving consular assistance,” a spokeswoman said.
The story has made national headlines in Greece, where some have hailed the woman as a hero.
Fanouraki will appear in court in Iraklion, in northern Crete. She claims she was acting in self-defense, but Feltham’s family strongly deny that he had been sexually harassing the woman. They have also dismissed the claims that his genitals had been burned.
“He swears blind that he’s never met her or seen her. He’s not the kind of lad that gets himself in trouble – he’s a kind-hearted, generous boy,” his father, Ian Feltham, said. “His head’s on straight. I truly think it was a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“He said some girl just came up to him and threw some party trick fuel over him, then set him alight. He said it came from behind the bar, but it was not a drink.
“We received the phone call at 3:00 am from one of his mates, and it was very worrying. He said, ‘There’s been an incident, and his words were “He’s been torched.” It was a terrible, horrible attack.”
Feltham said his son, a plumber, had been to a party before returning to the bar of his hotel.
“The hotel staff had been very good to them, and he wanted to buy the barman a drink and say goodbye. Apparently she had nothing to do with the hotel.
“He was burned from his neck to his bellybutton, and his hair’s been singed. He’s fine now, and we’ve spoken to him. The doctors say he’s progressing well, and he’s in good spirits. We just want him home – we want to look after him.”