Hampshire Teenager "Unlawfully Killed" In Crete
19 April 2016, 17:09 | Updated: 19 April 2016, 17:11
A public schoolboy from Hampshire who died on the penultimate day of his Interrail holiday after being assaulted outside a nightclub in the Greek resort of Malia was unlawfully killed, a coroner has ruled.
Harrow pupil Archie Lloyd was celebrating the end of his A-Level exams with four friends when he was struck by a club promoter following an angry exchange in the early hours of August 6 last year.
Witnesses said 18-year-old Mr Lloyd, from Micheldever, and best friend Andy Hutchinson ``didn't want trouble'' and tried to walk away, but were attacked by Sebastian Trabucatti.
The promoter remains on bail having been charged with manslaughter after striking Mr Lloyd, who fell and hit his head. He died later that day in his sleep.
Mr Trabucatti refused to attend the inquest, and said he was not to blame for the death.
Coroner Grahame Short, recording the verdict in Winchester, said: ``Based on the evidence, I am sure that Mr Lloyd was struck in the face and I find it proven beyond all reasonable doubt that this was a deliberate and intentional act.
``I don't find there was any intention to cause death. But it was the inadvertent consequences that Mr Lloyd was knocked backwards and struck the back of his head, and death resulted.
``In English law that results in involuntary manslaughter. It follows that I conclude that this was a death due to unlawful killing.''
The court heard Mr Lloyd and Mr Hutchinson got involved in a heated exchange with Mr Trabucatti and two women shortly after 4am when the public schoolboys were obstructing the main road to moped users.
Mr Hutchinson, who wept as he gave evidence, admitted the groups traded coarse language and taunts but insisted there was no violence until Mr Trabucatti stopped his vehicle and began pushing the pair.
He said: ``Archie started to walk off. The man (Mr Trabucatti) walked towards him. In a split second I saw one of the women (on the mopeds) raise her hands and point to Archie, she said: 'You deserved that.'
``Archie was on the pavement with his prone body partly laid on the road.
``The man and the two women rode off.''
He said a passing ambulance crew stopped at the scene and gave Mr Lloyd a ``three-minute check-up'', but he was not transferred to hospital.
Pathologist Adnan Al-Badri told the hearing there was a chance the keen sportsman would have survived if he received hospital attention in the wake of the fall.
Mr Hutchinson said the friends were so concerned about Mr Lloyd that they phoned medical helplines when they returned to their villa in Sissi a short time later, staying in the gifted sportsman's bedroom to keep an eye on him.
The friends later fell asleep and only realised Mr Lloyd had died when they woke just before midday.
In his statements to Greek police, Mr Trabucatti - who the court heard was from England before working as a promoter in Greece - said Mr Lloyd came at him ``with his fists raised''.
However, the coroner said this was unlikely given other witness statements - including from one of the moped riders - that Mr Lloyd and his friend tried to walk away without confrontation.
Mr Trabucatti said he went to check on Mr Lloyd after he was felled and was content he was okay.
He added: ``I'm sorry about what happened to the young man but do not consider myself responsible for his death.''
The court heard Mr Trabucatti has been charged with manslaughter in Greece but has yet to enter a plea. A trial would likely be held next year.
Mr Lloyd, who visited Amsterdam, Athens, Berlin, Budapest and Prague during his three-week tour of Europe, was a brother to older siblings Hector and Hugo, and to younger twin sisters, Kitty and Flora.
In a statement, the family said: ``Archie was ready to take on the world, realising his dreams to study at university and travel when he tragically died.
``He had his whole life ahead of him when, on a harmless night out, everything went tragically wrong and so many lives have been shattered as a result.
``He was a boy who grasped every opportunity afforded to him and he had won a gap year travel scholarship to learn Mandarin and coach football in China.''
Kieran Mitchell, a lawyer from Slater and Gordon, representing the Lloyd family, said: ``This is a tragic case of a gifted young man's life being cut far too short.
``Criminal proceedings against Archie's alleged assailant are pending in Crete, with him having been released on bail pending investigation by the public prosecutor.
``He is expected to return to Crete to face the charges against him, with a trial expected within the next 12-18 months.''