Mother’s fury after man who beat her daughter to death on Crete during a lovers’ row has his sentence slashed
- Luke Walker found guilty of GBH leading to the death of Chelsea Hyndman
- He was given eight-year suspended sentence now reduced to three years
- Miss Hyndman’s mother Heather has branded the sentence as ‘ridiculous’
- Couple were heard having a lovers’ row while working in Crete in May 2010
- Miss Hyndman died of acute peritonitis after having abdominal pains
A mother has spoken of her fury that the 26-year-old Briton who beat her daughter to death during a lovers’ row on a Greek island had his sentence slashed.
Luke Walker was found guilty of GBH leading to the death of his then-girlfriend Chelsea Hyndman, 20, while the couple were working in Crete in May 2010.
He was handed an eight-year suspended sentence in May 2013 which has now been reduced to a three-year suspended jail term after a retrial at Heraklion Mixed Criminal Court in Crete.
Miss Hyndman’s mother Heather, 50, from Castleford, West Yorkshire, has branded the sentence as ‘ridiculous’ and said ‘it’s just not right’.
‘It was horrendous having to relive it all again and having to listen to how my daughter died,’ she said.
‘A lot of the time I had to go outside the courtroom because I just couldn’t listen to any more.
‘Then for him to get a three-year suspended sentence is just ridiculous. People get bigger sentences for selling drugs.
‘How can he be allowed home when he has killed someone? It’s just not right.’
Miss Hyndman was admitted to hospital in Heraklion, Crete, with abdominal pains in May 2010 and died the following day as a result of acute peritonitis.
Walker – an electrician who was living in the resort town of Malia where he and Chelsea worked in bars – claimed she fell during a night out on May 6.
She fell over on a cobbled street, landing with her left hand under her body near her stomach area, according to Louise Purdy, who had been with her on the night out.
The court heard that as the night wore on she told friends she was okay but had hurt her stomach a little.
Lyndsay Williamson, who had been friends with Miss Hyndman since 2007, said that by May 11 she noticed a difference in Miss Hyndman.
They had both spent time at the beach and had got badly burned by the sun and later that day, when the pair met up to go for a few drinks, Miss Hyndman ‘seemed so out of it and disorientated’.
Miss Williamson saw her again on May 12 and said Miss Hyndman was being sick and had stomach cramps and thought she had sunstroke.
She briefly saw her again as she was going into hospital and asked if she wanted her to go too. Miss Hyndman replied: ‘I just want to be with Luke’, the court heard.
In the early hours of May 12, the couple arrived back at their apartment and Miss Hyndman became irritated with Walker because he began cooking and she was feeling nauseous, the court heard.
They had a ‘little bicker’, Walker said, and she went out. He assumed she had gone to a friend’s nearby apartment.
Asked by the judge if he had pushed her, if she had banged against any furniture, or if he had hurt her, he replied ‘No’.
‘You’re saying categorically, adamantly, no?’ Walker was asked.
‘No, I didn’t,’ he said.
Witnesses told the court they heard shouting and furniture being moved in the couple’s room on that night.
Walker denied the murder of his 20-year-old girlfriend and during a retrial in May 2013 the charge was reduced to grievous bodily harm leading to Chelsea’s death.
Ms Hyndman said: ‘It was four days before anybody took her to the doctor or got any sort of medical help.
‘She was just sitting in her room getting constantly worse. I still dont understand why nobody phoned us because just one phone call could have saved Chelsea’s life.
‘The end of the court case offers a little bit of closure because there is nothing he can to do appeal it.
‘But I still don’t know the full facts about what happened and I don’t think I ever will.
‘Nothing will ever bring Chelsea back either and not a day goes by where I don’t think about her.’
Miss Hyndman met Walker while working in the resort in 2008 and they returned to the island in the summer of 2009.
The couple had only been in Malia for three weeks before Miss Hyndman’s death.
Ms Hyndman’s partner, Neil Lorriman, 37, said: ‘This has been going on for almost five years now and during that time we have had to travel to and from Crete and compete with the language barrier which has not been easy.
‘It has been a fight all the way through to understand everything which just made the whole situation worse.
‘This retrial ending is like the closing of a chapter but I dont think it will never end for good.’
Paying tribute to her daughter, Ms Hyndman said: ‘Chelsea was happy, bubbly and very outgoing. We used to go shopping together a lot and she was more like a friend than a daughter.
‘The last thing I said to Luke before they went to Crete was take good care of Chelsea. That’s something that will stay with me forever because this is the last thing I thought would happen.’
Ms Hyndman was told her daughter was ill by a policeman in May 2010. She booked a flight to Crete with Walker’s father but it was cancelled due to the ash cloud caused by a volcano in Iceland.
‘When I was waiting for the disruption to clear I got a phone call to say that Chelsea had died. I can’t put into words how difficult that was,’ she said.
‘I just keep thinking that I’ve got Mia, who’s 11 now, and that helps. Chelsea will never be forgotten and I can see her in Mia.
‘They are very similar and that’s really nice because it’s like I’ve still got a bit of Chelsea with me.
‘We would like to thank family and friends for all the help and support they have given us over the past five years.’