Birmingham & Black Country

Chelsea Hyndman boyfriend convicted over Crete death

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Media captionMr Walker's father told the BBC's Mark Lowen that the family were "devastated" by the conviction

A British man has been convicted of killing his girlfriend on the Greek island of Crete three years ago.

Luke Walker, 25, of Brierley Hill, West Midlands, was found guilty of inflicting grievous bodily harm leading to the death of Chelsea Hyndman, 20, from West Yorkshire, in May 2010.

Walker had denied murder while on trial at Heraklion Mixed Criminal Court.

He was given an eight-year sentence, which was suspended after he lodged an immediate appeal against the verdict.

He was told the jail term would be suspended and he could return to England if he paid 10,000 euro (£8,500) for bail.

The electrician will have to return to the Greek island at a date in the future for a retrial at an appeal court.

The motion came from the public prosecutor after it was argued that Walker did not intend to kill Ms Hyndman.

During the two-day trial the court heard that Ms Hyndman, from Castleford, who had met Walker in the resort town of Malia in 2008, was admitted to hospital with abdominal pains on 16 May 2010 and died from acute peritonitis the following day.

Walker, who lived with his girlfriend, claims she was injured when she fell over on a night out with friends earlier that month.

Some of Ms Hyndman's friends who had been with her on a night out described how she had fallen on a cobbled street.

'Jealous when drunk'

They said she was holding a glass as she toppled on to the floor and landed with her left arm under her body near her stomach area.

Image caption Luke Walker immediately lodged an appeal

During the trial Walker also denied pushing or hurting her and told the judge that she had not fallen against any furniture.

But in a series of statements read out in court, it was claimed Walker had previously hit his girlfriend.

One letter claiming to be from a woman who signed her name only as "Jessie", said Walker was sometimes jealous of other men talking to Ms Hyndman, particularly when he was drunk.

The writer of the letter claimed to know of two occasions when Walker had beaten Ms Hyndman and kicked her in the stomach.

Another document submitted to the court was purportedly sent to Greek police by a "Peter Rogers".

In it, he said he had overheard a conversation in which Walker's father, Patrick, said his son had admitted hitting Ms Hyndman.

The court was told that in the lead up to her death, Ms Hyndman's stomach became bloated, her eyes yellow and she was sick and constipated.

Walker had been held on remand for five months after his arrest in May 2010.

He was later given bail but had not been allowed to leave the island.

His trial began in October but was adjourned because key prosecution witnesses had not been summoned.

Walker was bailed to return to the UK and arrived back in Crete ahead of the resumption of proceedings.

He will have to return to the island for a retrial at an appeals court.

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