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British tourist accused of shoving her boyfriend to his death in drunk Turkey holiday row freed after 16 months
12 August 2023, 07:33 | Updated: 12 August 2023, 09:14
A British woman who spent 16 months in prison in Turkey after being accused of pushing her boyfriend to his death off a balcony has flown home after being freed.
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Kayley Myers, 32, has been acquitted of the murder of Reece Pegram, and insisted: "I didn't kill him."
Mr Pegram, 22, was found dead in their holiday resort of Antalya last year, with Ms Myers arrested by Turkish police.
They accused her of pushing Mr Pegram from the couple's third-floor balcony - and she faced 25 years in prison.
Although Ms Myers admitted she and Mr Pegram had been arguing, she denied killing him.
Now she is back in the UK, she faces a battle for her innocence to be accepted at home too. Ms Myers is living in hiding at a secret address.
"When the judge said I’d been acquitted and could fly home I broke down in tears and mouthed, ‘Thank you’." she told the Sun. "This has been hanging over me for the last 16 months. I’ve been through hell and it’s not over yet.
"I just want people to know the truth. I’ve been described as a violent and vicious person and I’m neither of those things.
"All I’m guilty of is having an argument with my boyfriend on holiday.
“I didn’t kill him. I didn’t throw him off the balcony. I’m not a horrendous murderer. I just couldn’t do that to someone.“No one knows what happened - only Reece.
"But the evidence pointed towards what it was — an horrific accident.“I’d swap places with him in a heartbeat if I could. He had so much to live for.
"I miss him every day. He was my best friend.
"I can’t imagine the pain his family is going through and I don’t want to add to that — but I need people to know that I didn’t do it."
Ms Myers and father-of-one Mr Pegram, both from Newcastle, were on holiday to mark the first anniversary of their relationship.
They spent the first full day of the holiday drinking heavily, while traces of cocaine were also found in Mr Pegram's blood.
The couple argued when they got back to the hotel room, including about Mr Pegram's supposed infidelities.
A glass was smashed during the argument, and Ms Myers cut her hand - blood that investigators found later.
She went to wash her hand in the bathroom, and heard a loud thump from outside.
She then went downstairs to get patched up by hotel staff, before returning to the room and going back to sleep.
Ms Myers was woken up by police arresting her, and assumed that Mr Pegram had been arrested for being drunk and disorderly.
It was several hours before she understood that he had died.
She was put in prison for seven months while awaiting trial. Ms Myers was let out after seven months on conditional release, but had to remain in the country.
She was finally acquitted last month after the judge said it could not be proven beyond doubt that she killed Mr Pegram, and she flew home to the UK.
Ms Myers said she didn't know what to do now.
She said: "My life stood still for 16 months. I’ve lost everything — my job, my home, my friends and my family.
"There will always be people who think I did it, there’s nothing I can do to change that. I have to live with this for the rest of my life. I know it’s never going to go away.
"But I don’t want it to determine my future. I want my life back. “At the moment all I have is a bag of clothes. I’ve simply gone from one prison to another. I can’t get a job because the moment you Google my name, the details of my arrest and Reece’s death appear.
"I’m scared people will recognise me in the street and I’m constantly looking over my shoulder. I just don’t want to live my life in fear."