British wedding guest, 27, faces years in Greek jail…
- Pete Hudson, 27, had ‘preliminary charges’ levelled against him on a count of causing the death of his friend
- Newywed Jeremy Hope, 39, died on the way to hospital after the freak crash
- Hudson was a guest at Mr Hope’s wedding just two days earlier
- He was arrested at Athens airport as he tried to board a flight to Crete
- If fully charged and convicted he could face several years in a Greek jail
- Hudson ordered to stand trial in Greece on charges of negligence leading to manslaughter
- But court allows him to return to England on condition he returns for formal hearing early next year
A British man could be facing a prison sentence after being charged over death of a newlywed friend on his honeymoon in a freak jet ski accident on the Greek island of Santorini
Pete Hudson, 27, was arrested as he tried to board a flight to Crete, where his friend Jeremy Hope had been taken after the jet ski crash.
Mr Hope, 39, was fatally injured in the collision when he is believed to have been rammed by Hudson’s jet ski just two days into his honeymoon.
Hudson has been ordered to stand trial in Greece on charges of negligence leading to manslaughter – but the court allowed him to return to England on condition that he return for a formal hearing early next year.
Emmanuel Vasalakis, the harbour master of Santorini island, said Naxos prosecutor Mrs Ioanna Lampa cross-examined Pete Hudson this morning and then levelled ‘preliminary charges’ against him on two counts.
The charges are for negligence leading to the death of Jeremy Hope and driving a jet ski without a permit.
Although the death occurred on the highly popular island of Santorini, the trial is taking place on nearby Naxos island because it is the regional administrative and legal centre of the Cyclades group of Greek islands.
Vasalakis said the charges against the Briton were ‘preliminary’ because the investigation has not yet been completed.
The Greek rentals manager at Kamari resort where the jet skis were hired, George Kostopoulos, was formally and fully charged on three counts.
Firstly because one of the jet skis did not have a permit for use by tourists, secondly because he rented them to tourists who had no permits to drive jet skis, and thirdly because he did not notify police about the ultimately fatal crash.
Local Greek prosecutor Mrs. Ioanna Lampa ordered the two accused men to appear before a court of First Instance on Friday.
It was this court which accepted their lawyer’s request to have a regular hearing before a Civil Court early next year, for the better preparation of their defence. The exact date of the trial has not yet been announced.
The court said that Mr. Hudson was free to return to England without bail, pending the formal trial next year.
Mr Hope is understood to have been a partner at Saxon Kings estate agency, in Kingston-upon-Thames, south London, where staff were too upset to speak.
A friend has described him as ‘a lovely, generous man who was very much in love’.
A friend of Mr Hope, who works nearby the estate agency he is understood to co-own with his wife Sarah Greaves, said he was stunned at hearing news of his death.
He said: ‘He was a lovely fellow and Sarah’s a beautiful lady.
‘We’re all really upset about it.
‘They were just really lovely people. He was a hard worker, a gym fanatic, a sports fanatic.
‘They were a good couple, great together, and they had everything to look forward to.
‘I’m only just coming to terms with it myself. Everyone at the estate agents are too upset to speak and we’re the same.
‘I used to see them (the couple) on a daily basis.
‘We went to the opening of the estate agency two years ago. They were very generous people.
‘He and Sarah were partners in the estate agency I believe.
‘They had been together for years. They were very much in love.
‘I was just staggered when I heard. He’s a good guy and he will be badly missed.
‘I know they were due to get married, but I don’t know if they were on honeymoon. I was under the impression it was just a holiday.’
Mr Hope is believed to have collided with another British jet skier – his friend Pete Hudson, 27, who had been a guest at his Greek island wedding on Monday.
It is thought that Mr Hope went back to sunbathe with his new wife, Sarah, 30, after the crash on Kamari Beach.
They are believed to have been staying at the four-star Antinea Hotel, a short walk from the beach.
But paramedics decided to air lift Mr Hope to a hospital in Crete after suspecting he may have been bleeding internally.
Mr Hope died on board the helicopter.
A spokesman for the local Greek coastguard claimed the two men were seen ‘showing off’ before they crashed.
Hudson detained at Athens International Airport, and was believed to have been attempting to fly to Crete.
A Foreign Office spokesman said: ‘We are aware of the death of a British National in Greece on 17th September.
‘We are providing consular assistance to his family at this sad time.
‘We are aware of the arrest of a British national in Greece and are providing consular assistance.’
The island of Santorini in the southern Aegean Sea a popular destination for British holidaymakers, who are drawn to its historic towns, clear waters and black sand beaches.