Grieving family flying to Greece in hope for justice

Joe Arthur, killed in Greece

Joe Arthur, killed in Greece

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DEVASTATED relatives of devoted dad Joe Arthur will fly to Greece this weekend after a five-and-a-half year wait for justice.

His family go Greece on Saturday for the start of the trial into the death of the Sunderland dad-of-two, which is expected to start on Monday.

A South African barman, 45, is accused of inflicting the fatal blows that killed Joe while he was on holiday in Sidari, Corfu, with partner Leigh-Ann Bennett and their two children in September 2006.

Two medics who treated the 34-year-old for three days while he was in Corfu General Hospital will also appear in court, charged with neglect leading to manslaughter.

Joe’s sister Joanne, 43, of Grindon, said: “It’s been a long wait and it’s important now for us to see justice done.

“We want justice because we’ve been put through so much as a family, and for what Joe was put through because he was alive for the whole weekend and might have been saved.”

While Joe, of Gartland Road in Grindon, was on holiday, he was the victim of a vicious street attack that saw him suffer a fatal blow to the head.

He died in hospital three days later.

Joe’s family hit out at Greek medics’ claims that he suffered a heart attack and launched a campaign to find out the truth.

A Sunderland coroner ordered a further two post-mortem examinations, which revealed he died of a brain haemorrhage caused by the brutal beating.

In 2007, Greek police arrested and charged the three men after Northumbria Police detectives flew to the country as part of an investigation.

Since then, the trial has been delayed by numerous legal wrangles.

Joanne said: “It still doesn’t seem real.

“In one way we obviously want it to go well and we need it to be dealt with because it’s dragged on for too long, but also I’m not looking forward to it because it’s going to bring it all back again.

“It makes it all real when I still feel as if he’s just round the corner.

“It’s also scary because it’s in a different country and in a different language.

“Often you don’t have a clue what’s going on and the translators get things wrong.”

Twitter: @sunechochief