HEATHER Hyndman – whose daughter Chelsea was killed in Crete two years ago – says she feels “stronger” after friends and colleagues have rallied round to support her as the man accused of causing Chelsea’s death goes on trial next month.
Heather’s colleagues at Wilkinsons in Castleford are organising a fundraising night to help pay for a Greek lawyer to interpret the trial of Chelsea’s boyfriend Luke Walker, who is accused of causing her death by actual bodily harm and goes on trial in Crete on October 16.
Wilkinsons has also hired lawyers for Heather both in the UK and Greece and is giving her £5,000 towards her legal costs from its trust fund, while charity Missing Abroad is working to see if it can also offer help.
Heather, 47, of Princess Street, Castleford, said: “I feel stronger because I know I have got support and people do want to help. When I got the call from Wilkinsons this week, I felt like a weight had lifted.
“Things are starting to look better so I can concentrate on going over there and getting through it.”
Chelsea, 20, died in May 2010, as a result of ruptured internal organs after being admitted to hospital with severe abdominal pain. Walker, 24, from the West Midlands, was initially charged with her murder, until the charge was downgraded, and has been on bail in Crete since October 2010.
He denies being responsible for her death and claims Chelsea’s injuries were caused by a fall.
Heather, who lives with her partner Neil Lorriman and their eight-year-old daughter Mia, said she is also getting more support from the Foreign Office and has spoken to her MP Yvette Cooper since the Express reported on how a summons for Chelsea to appear at the trial arrived from the Greek court three weeks ago.
Heather said she had since found out that the summons was meant for her, and the Greek authorities have apologised to the Foreign Office for the error – although Heather has not received a direct apology from the Greek court.
She added: “I’m glad I’m a witness in court, because I knew Chelsea better than anybody so hopefully I can get across what she was like. At last I know I’m fighting for her.
“Life will never be the same again, but at least I’ll get some closure. It’s Mia I have to focus on, because she has missed out on so much. I keep saying I’ll hopefully will be able to give Mia a better Christmas because I will have some closure.”
Heather is now planning to travel to Crete earlier, so she can see her lawyer – under the Greek justice system the court will only deal with an officially appointed solicitor and not Chelsea’s family direct.
Heather’s colleagues have organised a fundraising night on Friday October 12 called Justice 4 Chelsea at Fryston Welfare Club, Borrowdale Drive, from 7pm.
The event includes live bands, singers, face painting, auction, raffle, tombola and pie and pea supper, all compered by drag artist Belle Rouge.
Lynn Gray, one of the organisers, said: “We are all really close at work and we could see she was struggling and no-one was helping her, so we just decided we needed to do something.
“We have done it for Heather because we love her. We want to help her as much as we can.”
Contact Lynn at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about the fundraising night or offer a prize or donation.