Convicted boyfriend of tragic holiday worker ‘wished he’d got help sooner’

Luke Walker and Chelsea Hyndman.
Luke Walker and Chelsea Hyndman.

The boyfriend of a Castleford woman convicted over her death on a Greek island has said he wished he had taken her to hospital sooner.

Holiday worker Chelsea Hyndman, 20, died in Crete in 2010 from severe abdominal injuries for which her partner, Luke Walker, was found guilty of causing.

Walker was giving evidence at the second day of the inquest into Chelsea’s death this week at Wakefield Coroners’ Court, answering questions from the area coroner, Jonathan Leach, his own barrister Andrew Scott and even Chelsea’s mother, Heather Hyndman.

It was heard how Chelsea had been feeling unwell days before being taken to hospital, but Walker said she had refused to go.

When asked by Mr Scott if he could change one detail of what happened in the days before her death, Walker replied: “I would have taken her to hospital sooner, I should have made her go.

“One minute she said she was alright, but I should have stood my ground and taken her.”

The couple had been workers on Crete, having met there in 2008.

Returning to the island in April 2010 for another season, former Castleford High School student Chelsea was admitted to hospital on May 16 with severe stomach pains and she had become jaundiced.

Despite emergency surgery, she passed away the next day.

She had suffered damage to her pancreas which caused multiple organ failure.

The cause of death was recorded as acute peritonitis.

Walker, with whom she was sharing an apartment, was initially arrested for the murder of Chelsea after medical reports suggested her injuries were caused by blunt trauma, consistent with being kicked or stamped on.

This was later reduced to GBH with negligence, the equivalent to manslaughter in Britain - for which he was eventually given a three-year suspended sentence by a court in Crete.

Speaking through tears at the inquest this week, he continues to deny that he had any involvement with her death, that he still loved Chelsea and was still grieving for her.

He said they had their “differences” but their relationship was never violent.

During the first day of her inquest this week, evidence from medical experts suggested a drunken fall Chelsea had outside a bar 11 days before death could have been sufficient to cause the damage to her pancreas.

Statements from her friends suggest jaundice had begun setting in - symptomatic of the damage to her pancreas - around the time it was alleged that Walker had assaulted her.

The inquest continues.

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