Four men convicted of attacking Croydon footballer Rob Hughes in Greece
FOUR men have been found guilty of attacking footballer Rob Hughes in Greece in June 2008.
Curtis Taylor, Daniel Bell and Sean Branton, from Horley and Joseph Bruckland from Hookwood were convicted of the attack following a three day trial in Haraklion, Crete.
George Hollands of Reigate and Benjamin Herdman from Worth were cleared of the charges.
All the men - who are aged in their twenties - had denied the charges against them.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Former Croydon Athletic midfielder Rob required four life-saving operations after being attacked outside a Malia nightclub in June 2008.
He was kicked, stamped and bottled into a coma and there were fears he wouldn’t survive the attack.
Aged 27 back then, Rob was living in South Croydon at the time of the attack and was about to sign for Bromley FC.
He miraculously returned to England three months later and spoke about rebuilding his life.
But having suffered brain damage in the attack, it has been a tough road over the last four years.
He has had to cope with daily battles with his disabilities, including severe obsessive compulsive disorder.
And in September 2010, his mum Margaret told how he had even contemplated suicide as the turmoil of the ordeal took its toll.
She revealed how depressed her son has been, explaining at the time: "He said ‘I can’t live. I don’t know who I am any more’.
"Rob wasn’t feeling sorry for himself. He just felt in a catch-22 situation.
"He told me he couldn’t cope any more, that it wasn’t worth living, but added 'Mum, I love you'. He said he couldn’t go on and he put the phone down.
"I contacted somebody in the police I knew as I was extremely worried about his mental state."
Fortunately, Rob never actually tried to take his own life but the incident left Margaret emotionally shaken.
She had decided to speak out during that period after being left 'disgusted' that some of the men accused of attacking her son booked into a five-star hotel following their release from a Greek prison.
One of them, George Hollands, even spoke of jumping around in a swimming pool in celebration.
Hollands, Branton, Taylor, Bell and Herdman had been extradited to Greece but were bailed and allowed to return to the UK.
This week - the five and Bruckland - were back in Greece facing trial on Tuesday in Heraklion, Crete.
Rob had also flown over there and broke down in tears with emotion when he appeared at court.
Margaret said: "He was in a terrible state, shaking. I really thought he was going to have a fit.
"I was panicking, I really thought he was going to pass out."
For Margaret and her family it has been a long and tough road, but she spoke of her delight at the decision of the court.
Speaking this morning (Friday), she told the Advertiser: "We've come over here and got the verdict we wanted to get. It wasn't about (them spending) 50 years in a prison. It was about getting that guilty verdict, that meant everything to me.
"As far as I'm concerned, it's over. This part of our life is over.
"I'm never going to get the son back that I had before. I can't get the old Robert back.
"But I don't carry the burden around with me. These boys will have to carry the burden, but I hope with that burden they will turn their lives around"
Margaret revealed that some of the defendants and their families even came up to her afterwards and said sorry about what had happened to Robert.
Showing a huge amount of dignity, she spoke to them and insisted that some good must come out of the tragic incident.
And while the four guilty men were spared jail, Margaret was not bitter about the suspended sentence.
She says the Hughes family had got what they had come for and can leave with their heads held high.
Margaret explained: "When it (the verdict) was read out, there was a hush and a calm feeling.
"At the end of the day, if I knew they were in a Greek jail I'd be on edge about 'Are they going to be released?'. I wouldn't be able to rest.
"We got justice in Greece."