The family of Chelsea Hyndman have talked exclusively to the Express about their reaction to the conviction of her boyfriend Luke Walker for causing her death.
Heather Hyndman and her partner Neil Lorriman say they believe the court made the right decision in convicting Luke Walker, 25, of grievious bodily harm. He received an eight-year suspended prison term.
Chelsea, 20, died on May 17 2010 after suffering severe abdominal injuries, while she and Walker were working in Crete. Greek prosecutors claimed Walker beat her up, while he denied it and said she was injured in a fall.
Neil, of Princess Street, Castleford, said: “In 2010 we lost Chelsea and nothing that happened here in Crete this week was ever going to change that or ease that pain.
“We’ve not enjoyed the fact Luke was found guilty. Nothing that has happened was going to be a victory.
“It wasn’t about us coming over here and winning, we have got nothing to gain, whether he was found guilty or innocent, apart from finding out exactly what happened.
“Now we have got the ability to draw our own conclusions and we agreed with the decision of the court.”
The trial at Heraklion Mixed Criminal Court heard from friends of Chelsea who said she fell over during a night out in Malia, where she and Walker were living and working.
It also heard written statements claiming Walker had previously hit Chelsea, while a neighbour described hearing the couple argue, and on May 12 heard what sounded like a woman screaming.
Medical evidence said Chelsea’s injuries were consistent with being punched or kicked in the stomach.
Walker immediately appealed against his conviction and was allowed to return to the UK on condition he pays £8,000 bail to the Greek court. The appeal is expected to take place in 12 to 18 months.
Neil added: “In a way we are a step forward, but we’ve got it all to go through again. I suppose this was always going to happen if he got found guilty.
“It’s usual in Greece to have a suspended sentence, once he was found guilty we were made aware of that, so the court hasn’t been lenient.”
The trial took place across two days last week, with the court sitting more than 12 hours a day, with the verdict coming at 11.10pm.
Neil said: “It was just really exhausting to be sat in there for such a long time listening to what happened to Chelsea.
“All the statements and evidence from the doctors and pathologists were really graphic.
“Heather had to leave at that point. We wanted to hear everything ourselves just in order to make our minds up, but she couldn’t bear to listen to that.”