Footballer Robert Hughes’ attackers convicted at Crete retrial

BBC — Four men have been found guilty of attacking a former footballer on the Greek island of Crete seven years ago, leaving him brain damaged.

Former Oxford United player Robert Hughes, 35, from Croydon, was assaulted outside a nightclub in Malia in 2008.

Curtis Taylor, Daniel Bell, Sean Branton and Joseph Bruckland were convicted of causing grievous bodily harm in 2012, but they later appealed.

The men, from Horley and Hookwood in Surrey, were in Crete for the retrial.

At the one-day hearing in the capital Heraklion, they were each given a three-year suspended jail term and told they were free to return to the UK.

They were also given a 10,000-euro (£7,370) fine between the four of them, payable to the court.

BBC South East Today reporter Charlie Rose said the defendants remained motionless as the verdicts were handed down.

Also in court were Mr Hughes and his mother, Maggie Hughes.

She said she was “shocked and surprised” at the verdicts, but “very pleased”.

It was the family’s fourth trip to the Greek island since the attack on Mr Hughes, in which he was stabbed with a broken bottle and had his head stamped on.

Greek doctors had said he was 48 hours from death and warned he would be paralysed.

Mr Hughes spent three months in a Greek hospital, two weeks of which were in intensive care, and had to have three operations on his brain.

He suffered severe memory loss and could not remember his family following the assault.

Speaking after the verdicts, Mrs Hughes told the BBC she would be continuing her campaign to get justice for others who found themselves in similar circumstances to her son while abroad.

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