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Family pleas to minister for more victim support

PUBLISHED: 17:49 20 May 2009 | UPDATED: 10:05 12 August 2010

THE family of a footballer who was savagely beaten within an inch of his life while on holiday in Greece has taken his case to the Minister for Europe. Maggie Hughes, mother of Rob Hughes, 28, met with Caroline Flint last Wednesday to discuss better sup

THE family of a footballer who was savagely beaten within an inch of his life while on holiday in Greece has taken his case to the Minister for Europe.

Maggie Hughes, mother of Rob Hughes, 28, met with Caroline Flint last Wednesday to discuss better support for victims abroad.

Mr Hughes, who was about to be signed to Bromley Football Club before the assault, underwent four life-saving operations to his skull following the brutal attack in Malia in Crete on June 17 last year.

His attackers were allowed to walk free owing to a loophole in Greek law, as reported in the Times, and Mrs Hughes has been fighting ever since for justice for her son and for help for other victims abroad.

She claims she and her family were offered no support by either the British or Greek authorities during the three months they spent there while Mr Hughes was recuperating.

He still suffers from severe memory loss and has to take anti-fitting drugs.

London MEP, Robert Evans set up a meeting between Mrs Hughes, her daughter Alaina and the Minister for Europe, Caroline Flint, at the Foreign Office.

Mr Evans said: "This is a European matter of international importance. Greece is a European Union country and while Robert Hughes was there on holiday he was the victim of a brutal and cowardly attack. We must make sure justice is done.

"This case has also highlighted the difficulties faced by victims in foreign countries, whether it's a case of violence, theft or just a bad accident. We must work together to improve support services for those who experience these kind of problems whilst abroad.

"I salute the work Margaret Hughes has done in this area and I have full confidence in Caroline Flint to work to improve the situation and to assist with bringing the attackers of Robert Hughes to justice."

Greek authorities are still handling the legal case of the four British men who attacked Mr Hughes. His mother hopes they will be extradited to face trial in Greece.

Mrs Hughes' campaign has already garnered support from Conservative leader David Cameron and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg.

katherine.nelson@archant.co.uk

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