Coroner refuses to question Greek court’s verdict over tragic death of Chelsea Hyndman

TRAGIC ENDING: Chelsea Hyndman and Luke Walker.
TRAGIC ENDING: Chelsea Hyndman and Luke Walker.

A coroner has refused to question a Greek court’s verdict over the cause of death of a young woman on a holiday island.

Chelsea Hyndman, 20, died following an assault from her boyfriend Luke Walker in Crete in 2010, after suffering major pancreas damage.

Luke Walker, now 29, from the West Midlands, was eventually found guilty of GBH with negligence by a Greek court in 2015 and given a three-year suspended sentence.

A Home Office pathologist report said her injuries were consistent with a serious assault.

However, during the three-day inquest at Wakefield Coroners’ Court this week, medical experts gave evidence to suggest Chelsea’s injuries could have been caused by a drunken fall 11 days before her death.

On this basis, Walker’s barrister, Andrew Scott, requested the coroner consider questioning the Greek court’s proceedings when delivering his own verdict into her death.

But area coroner, Jonathan Leach, refused, saying: “The proceedings were in Greece, a country within the EU, with a democracy and civilisation which goes well beyond our own, therefore the trial can not be criticised.

“I can’t make a determination inconsistent with what was found in Greece, where Mr Walker was found guilty.

“It means the only conclusion available to me is unlawful killing and a narrative verdict.

“As a result of blunt force trauma to the abdomen, my conclusion is that of a narrative conclusion.”

Mr Scott said after the inquest that Walker’s family had intended to push for a judicial review into the verdict.

Chelsea, from Castleford, and Walker had met in Crete in 2008, returning to the island each year to work through the summer season.