Family’s Relief After Men Found Guilty Of Footballer Assault

Serious Injury Lawyers Supporting Family In Their Battle For Justice

28.11.2012

The mother of a former footballer who suffered brain damage after he was brutally beaten by a group outside a nightclub in Malia says she is relieved after the men responsible were found guilty at a Greek court but concerned that her family will have to re-live the trial once again at an appeal hearing.

Former Oxford United footballer Robert Hughes, now 32, was left in a coma after the assault when he was on holiday in Crete in June 2008. He was left with brain damage which has affected his sense of smell, taste and hearing and left him with severe memory problems meaning he cannot recall the attack and does not recognise his friends or family members. He also now suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder.

Four of the six men were sentenced to four years’ imprisonment and the judge also ordered an initial award of compensation for Robert’s terrible injuries.

Robert’s mother Maggie Hughes from South Croydon, Surrey has been fighting for justice and campaigning for victims’ rights since the incident. She was ‘overwhelmed by relief’ after their long battle for justice but said she and her family are devastated that they have to go through it all again at the hearing of the appeal

She instructed expert serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to represent Robert and they have been liaising with lawyers in Greece to assist Robert’s family with the prosecution. They have also been working on the civil claim to help Robert access vital rehabilitation to help with his quality of life.

Demetrius Danas, a specialist serious injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing the family and many others injured abroad, said: “Whilst Robert was on holiday with a group of friends in Malia, he was attacked by a group of six men, in a particularly vicious and entirely unprovoked assault. He suffered extremely serious life changing injuries which have left him with permanent brain damage causing memory problems.

“We are supporting the family with their civil claim to access rehabilitation and therapy to help get his life back on track. Maggie has been vigorously campaigning in respect of victim’s rights since her son’s assault. It is crucial that Robert gets the support and care he needs to improve his quality of life.”

Maggie Hughes said: “We have fought hard to see those responsible for this mindless attack held to account but nothing will ever change the fact that Robert will never be the same again. Our lives have changed forever. We were relieved at the guilty verdict but shocked that those found guilty are now free until the appeal is heard.

“Our focus is on bringing justice and helping Robert to overcome his injuries, the more time we spend on trying to hold those responsible to account the less time Robert can spend on his fight to get his life back on track. The civil claim will hopefully provide the funds needed to help with Robert’s recovery and rehabilitation, he’s been so brave to get back to where he is today but we still need professional support to help him further.”

Robert underwent four operations in the 4 months following his assault after suffering severe bruising and bleeding on the brain and fractures to his skull, cheekbone and forearm.

If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of a violent assault,  our solicitors could help you claim criminal injury compensation. See our Assault Claims page for more information.

Before his assault, Robert was a professional footballer but he was forced off work for more than 18 months following the attack. He was due to set up a children’s soccer school prior to the attack, but was unable to as a result of his injuries.

As well as his physical injuries Robert has also had rehabilitation and therapy from specialist brain injury units to help with his severe memory problems and the psychological impact of the assault.