CHELSEA Hyndman – the Castleford woman killed in Crete – has been called as a witness at the trial of the man accused of causing her death.
Her grieving mother Heather Hyndman said the summons from the Greek court calling the 20-year-old to appear at the court next month was the first she heard about the date of the trial of Chelsea’s boyfriend Luke Walker, who is charged with causing her death by actual bodily harm.
Heather, 47, of Princess Street, Castleford, said she had faced a wall of silence from the Greek authorities since Chelsea’s death in May 2010 and said she “couldn’t believe it” when the summons arrived for her daughter.
She said: “The Greek court said it was nothing to do with me because I’m not a witness – it’s my daughter, how can it be nothing to do with me? The Greek police haven’t spoken to me once.”
Heather said she was still waiting to find out why Chelsea was sent the summons, but added she felt completely unsupported by the British or Greek authorities.
“The Foreign Office has just given us a list of English-speaking lawyers, we wrote to our MP Yvette Cooper, but she said she was unable to help and sent us a list of phone numbers, we’ve been told someone from the British Consular office will meet us on the first day of the trial, but then we’re on our own,” she said.
“To top it all, our liaison officer from the British police has told us they are not allowed to attend overseas trials, so we have to hire our own solicitor to interpret for us, because the Greek court will only deal with us through an appointed solicitor. We have no idea how much it will cost, or how long the trial will last.
“It just seems that everyone’s helping Luke – his MP got a petition up in the House of Commons to get him bail – but I try to get some help and I hit a brick wall.”
Heather’s police liaison officer is currently working to try to get the family some help from charity Missing Abroad.
Chelsea and her boyfriend Luke, 24, of the West Midlands, had gone to Malia in Crete to work for the summer. She died a day after being admitted to hospital in Heraklion suffering severe abdominal pain.
She was transferred to Venizelio hospital where she had an emergency operation, but died in the intensive care unit, of ruptured internal organs.
Walker was initially charged with her murder, but it was downgraded to causing death by actual bodily harm – a charge he denies, claiming Chelsea’s injuries were caused by a fall. He was released on bail in October 2010, on the condition he remains in Crete.
Heather said: “I’ve always said I’ll go with the evidence, but their friends out there have changed their stories and there are so many unanswered questions.
“I just hope we can get some answers.”
Heather, her partner Neil Lorriman and their family are planning to fly out to Malia for the trial, which is due to start on October 16.
She said: “Some days are worse than others, like when it was her birthday last week. I’ve got my other daughter Mia, who’s eight, so I’m lucky I’ve got her to wake up for. Sometimes I don’t think it’s real and she’s just going to walk through the door.
“We miss her, and Mia misses her – they were so close.”
Heather added: “I think we are getting on with life the best we can, and things like this bring it all back again. I’m dreading going to court, I’m just glad my family can be with me.”