A man who beat his girlfriend to death on the holiday island of Crete has been given a three year suspended prison sentence by a Greek court.
The devastated family of the victim, Castleford woman Chelsea Hyndman, has slammed the sentence given to Luke Walker - who was convicted of killing her at a retrial hearing last week - as “ridiculous.”
Walker, of Brierley Hill, West Midlands, was originally charged with 20-year-old Chelsea’s murder after she died of severe abdominal injuries on May 17, 2010 while the couple were working in Crete, but during a trial in May 2013 the charge was reduced to grievous bodily harm leading to Chelsea’s death.
He was convicted of that charge and given an eight year suspended prison sentence. But after an appeal, there was a retrial at Heraklion Mixed Criminal Court in Crete last Wednesday and Thursday when he was convicted for a second time and given the three-year suspended prison term.
Speaking exclusively to the Express, Chelsea’s mum, Heather Hyndman, of Princess Street, Castleford, said: “It was horrendous having to relive it all again and having to listen to how my daughter died.
“A lot of the time I had to go outside the courtroom because I just couldn’t listen to any more.
People get bigger sentences for selling drugs ... How can he be allowed home when he has killed someone?Chelsea’s mum, Heather Hyndman
“Then for him to get a three-year suspended sentence is just ridiculous. People get bigger sentences for selling drugs. How can he be allowed home when he has killed someone? It’s just not right.”
Heather, 50, who gave evidence at the retrial, added: “The end of the court case offers a little bit of closure because there is nothing he can to do appeal it.
“But I still don’t know the full facts about what happened and I don’t think I ever will. Nothing will ever bring Chelsea back either and not a day goes by where I don’t think about her.”
The court heard statements which claimed Chelsea had been on a night out in Malia on May 11, 2010 before having an argument with Walker in the early hours of May 12.
Witnesses told the court they heard shouting and furniture being moved in the couple’s room.
Ms Hyndman added: “It was four days before anybody took her to the doctor or got any sort of medical help.
“She was just sitting in her room getting constantly worse. I still don’t understand why nobody phoned us because just one phone call could have saved Chelsea’s life.”
Former Castleford High School pupil Chelsea met Walker while working in the resort in 2008.
They then started a relationship and returned to the island in the summer of 2009.
The couple had only been in Malia for three weeks before Chelsea’s death.
Heather’s partner, Neil Lorriman, 37, said: “This has been going on for almost five years now and during that time we have had to travel to and from Crete and compete with the language barrier which has not been easy.
“It has been a fight all the way through to understand everything which just made the whole situation worse.
“This retrial ending is like the closing of a chapter but I don’t think it will never end for good.”
- See this week’s Pontefract and Castleford Express for the full story.