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Tuesday, 18 February, 2003, 17:57 GMT
Girl will wait for jailed 'rapist' lover
Mehmet Ocak and Rachael Lloyd
Rachael Lloyd gave evidence at Mehmet Ocak's trial
The Welsh schoolgirl whose relationship with a Turkish waiter got him a five-year jail sentence has pledged to wait for him.

Rachael Lloyd, 15, from Wrexham in north Wales, burst into tears when 24-year-old Mehmet Ocak was jailed for statutory rape.

Bob Lloyd, Rachael's father
Bob Lloyd accompanied his daughter

But Rachael - who was 14 and a year under the Turkish age of consent when the relationship began - said she loved Ocak and would wait for the prison sentence to end.

"I will love him forever," she said. "Nothing will separate us. I will wait for him."

The teenager travelled to the city of Gaziantep in south eastern Turkey to testify at the trial.

Ocak denied statutory rape and holding by force. He claimed he thought she was 15 - the legal age for sex in his country - at the start of the relationship.

He was sentenced to a total of five years, three months and 10 days.

Consumation

Rachael - who calls the barman Steve - had hoped to help him avoid prison by giving evidence at the trial.

Despite having admitted to having sex in previous statements, she told the court on Tuesday that the relationship had not been consummated.

She first met Ocak in the popular Mediterranean resort of Marmaris in May 2002.

Turkish authorities said she returned to Turkey later that summer and got engaged in the presence of her grandmother and her older sister.

It was my idea to run away to Turkey and to have sex with him. I'm just going crazy worrying about him locked up in a prison cell

Rachael Lloyd
Ocak told the court that Rachael had planned to stay in Turkey and that he had warned her of the consequences.

"I told Rachael that problems would occur and she had to go. But she did not go," he said.

"Rachael said that she loved me so much and wanted an engagement with me. We got engaged at the hotel. Rachael went crying and unwillingly."

But on the return journey home, she refused to board the plane and took a taxi back to Marmaris.

Marriage

A day later, staff from the British Consulate traced her and sent her back to Britain.

But in December 2002, even though she was still only 14, she returned to Turkey by herself - reportedly on a false passport - pledging to marry Ocak.

Within days, she called her grandmother - with whom she was living - claiming she had married.

At this point Ocak told the court that he was aware that she was only 14 but insisted he did not force her to do anything.

Locator map showing Gaziantep
Rachael was found in Gaziantep
"I did not hold her by force and I did not rape her. I knew that she was under legal age," he said.

"I did not say that I had a sexual intercourse with her. I accepted her to stay with me since she was my fiancée.

"Her grandmother called me and said that Rachael was wanted. Thus, I learned about all these developments. One day later, police came and detained us."

'Mixed-up'

In fact the Lloyd family had reported her missing and within days, the couple were tracked down to Ocak's flat following a search by Interpol and Turkish police.

The runaway was greeted by a media scrum when she returned to Britain. Her parents, Bob Lloyd and Karen Thomas, admitted they needed help to deal with their "mixed-up daughter".

Back in Turkey, Ocak was arrested and charged and held in custody.

Rachael has consistently said that she wants to return to Turkey.

As she flew out to Turkey with her father last Friday, she said: "I am going to Turkey because I don't see why he should be locked up.

"It was my idea to run away to Turkey and to have sex with him. I'm just going crazy worrying about him locked up in a prison cell."

Six years ago, another 14-year-old British girl, Sarah Cook, made headlines by converting to Islam and marrying a Turkish waiter, Musa Komeagac.

She returned to Britain in 1997 and gave birth to a son.

Komeagac was convicted of having sex with a minor but was fined only the equivalent of US $8.50.

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 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Wyre Davies
"Turkish court has jailed Ocak to five years imprisonment"

More from north east Wales
See also:

18 Feb 03 | Wales
16 Jan 03 | Wales
30 Dec 02 | Wales
13 Dec 02 | Wales
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