Mum Wins Euro Backing To Help Victims Abroad

19 May 2011, 06:00

A mother who saw her son's career at a Thames Valley football club cut short after a violent attack - is pressing Euro MP's for help.

Maggie Hughes says victims of crime abroad should get as much help and guidance as they need.

Her son Robbie, who used to play for Oxford United, was violently attacked in Crete in 2008 and left with severe injuries.

Previously Maggie, 57, met MPs in Westminster, and officials from the Foreign Office in the UK, to demand better support for victims abroad after a year-long campaign - telling politicians ."There are many Britons who are attacked or who suffer accidents abroad and the system for helping them is not adequate. I'm afraid our country has lost its way in helping and supporting victims and their families when they go on holiday."

Robbie was left in a coma after the attack and had previously played under Kevin Keegan at Fulham and also at Crystal Palace.  He needed four life-saving operations after his head was repeatedly stamped on outside a nightclub in Malia, Crete, in 2008.

After returning to England, Robbie's continued to suffer memory loss and had to take anti-fitting drugs.

Today, Maggie is celebrating after going to European Parliament in Brussels yesterday - to press for a stronger and more easily accessible network of Victim Support.

Maggie told heart "I'm overwhelmed at getting backing for European standards of Victim Support to be brought up to the same level as we enjoy in England. I want all countries in Europe to work hard to put this into practice as soon as possible, so no other families have to be left without any guidance or help if loved ones end up in hospital abroad."

Maggie added "When I flew out to Greece to be by Robbie's bedside in hospital - we had no idea how long he needed treatment and what would happen to him over there and how we'd look after him as we had no clue if it was days, weeks or months.  We also had no guidance for how to deal with the police to bring Robbie's attackers to justice".

Mrs Hughes, said she spent weeks in Greece dealing with administration issues, visiting Robbie and fighting for justice for her son - and now wants systems in place to prevent other families having to go through the same problems.

Now the European Union's Chief Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding has drawn up initial plans to raise the level of Victim Support, no matter which part of Europe the victim is in - and provide better support for families back home.

Summing up, CJC Reding praised Mrs Hughes's campaign and cited Victim Support services in the UK as a possible model from a continent wide support service.