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Sunday 31 August 2014

Four convicted over attack in Crete

Published 23/11/2012 | 14:14

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Former footballer Robert Hughes was left with brain damage after being attacked in Greece in 2008

Four Britons have been found guilty of an attack on a former footballer who was stabbed with a broken bottle and had his head stamped on while on holiday in Crete.

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Ex-Oxford United player Robert Hughes, from Croydon, south London, was left with brain damage after the attack in June 2008 in Malia.

Curtis Taylor, Sean Branton, Daniel Bell and Joe Bruckland, all from Surrey - were convicted of causing grievous bodily harm and sentenced to four years in prison, suspended pending an appeal.

Lawyer Georgios Pyromallis, who represented Taylor, Branton and Bell, said that the term is likely to be converted to a fine.

He said on Friday: "We lodged the appeal right after the verdict and either today or tomorrow they will return to the UK.

"They are relieved that they can come back. Of course my view, and I think I express their views too, is that the court didn't really have any evidence to prove that Robert Hughes, the victim, was hit or even touched by any of my clients. There was no witness to certify that, there was nothing.

"So I hope that in the appeal we will manage to sort this out, to clear them. It is difficult when the court have in front of them a severely injured person like Robert Hughes."

The appeal process normally takes around a year to complete.

Mr Pyromallis added: "I have explained to them from the beginning that the charges are serious and they could have faced being in prison for five to ten years. With this sentence, it can only be reduced in the appeal court or stay the same, and the good thing is that they will not have to serve any time in Greek prison. It will either be reduced and suspended forever, or converted to a fine."

Two other men - George Hollands, from Reigate, Surrey, and Benjamin Herdman, from Worth, West Sussex, were both cleared.

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