Hung out to dry!

Posted: May 15, 2010 in Law & Disorder

We’ve already had football fan Garry Mann, of Faversham, extradited to Portugal to serve a 2 year sentence for football-related violence during the Euro 2004 football tournament.

Six years ago Mr Mann was sentenced to two years in jail by a Portuguese court. He was arrested tried and convicted in the space of 24 hours. He had just five minutes with his lawyer before his trial started, he did not know what he was charged with until he had been convicted and he did not understand what was going on in court. Judges here who have reviewed the case say he suffered a serious injustice.

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Now two British holiday reps are to face a retrial over the deaths by carbon monoxide poisoning of a brother and sister in Corfu. Even though they have already been found not guilty.

A source in the Corfu magistrate’s office said that the appeal trial will feature 11 of the 12 accused who had stood trial for four months and heard the verdicts last week.

Among those acquitted, but who must now face trial again, are Thomas Cook health and safety staff Richard Carson, 28, and Nicola Gibson, 26. Ms Gibson and Mr Carson were earlier this month found not guilty of the manslaughter by negligence of Christianne and Bobby Shepherd, aged seven and six.

The children died after fumes from a gas boiler leaked into their bungalow during a holiday at the Louis Corcyra Beach Hotel in 2006. Their father and his girlfriend fell into comas but survived.

According to legal sources, the Corfu prosecutors decided that “vital court evidence had been ignored by the judges” concerning the two Britons and the other Greek technicians who were acquitted. They also noted that the guilty verdicts called for by court prosecutor Maria Tataki had been largely ignored. Well a court prosecutor IS going to call for a guilty verdict, that’s her job isn’t it!

In the original trial, four of the twelve were sentenced to between two and seven years imprisonment and were set free pending an appeal trial. The heaviest sentence was given to George Chrysikopoulos, the former general manager of the Corcyra Beach Hotel.

The Labour government handed Garry Mann over to the Portuguese as fast as they could, will Toff, Dim & the Coalition boys put up a better fight?

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