“JUSTICE has finally been served.”
These are the words of relieved relatives after their six-year battle for justice for Joe Arthur, who was killed on holiday in Corfu in 2006, came to an end.
Determined to have their say in court, the family have relentlessly fought for the Greek authorities to bring those accused of being involved with the death before the court.
This week, after almost six years of setbacks and delays, the four-week trial finally came to an end.
Radley Vorster, the South African barman accused of throwing the deadly blow, and Sofia Vlaseou, a medic who treated him, were both found not guilty.
A second medic, Alexios Martzoukas, was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 30 months probation.
Joe’s sister, Tracy Page, said: “We are all pleased that justice has been seen to be done in an open court in Greece and we really are appreciative of all the support we’ve had throughout these six difficult years.”
Joe, 34, of Grindon, died in hospital three days after a street attack during a holiday with his partner Leigh-Anne Bennett and his children Mollie, now 13, and Rhys, 11.
Greek medics claimed he suffered a heart attack, but a Sunderland coroner ordered further post-mortem examinations, which revealed he died of a brain haemorrhage from a blow to the head.
In 2007, Greek police charged the trio after Northumbria Police detectives flew to the country.
Tracy, 47, said: “We always said it’s not about the sentencing of these people, it’s about having the truth heard in open court.
“This is all we’ve wanted over the years and it’s been hard but it’s a relief to finally be here.”
Tracy and other relatives flew over to Greece at the beginning of May for the start of the trial.
But within hours of the first day, the judge adjourned the case for the third time and the family were sent home.
Two weeks later, they returned but on the first day the case was delayed for a week.
After returning again, just 24 hours after Tracy gave evidence the family were called back to Sunderland as their dad was seriously ill.
The next day Anthony Arthur, 72, lost his battle with cancer.
But this week, they flew to Greece for the final week of the trial.
Tracy addedL “It’s such a relief.”
The family would like to thank Home Office pathologist Nigel Cooper, neurosurgeon David Jellineck, Detective Chief Inspector Andy Potts and Detective Constable Chris Clarke, of Northumbria Police, Bridget Phillipson, MP, and the Sunderland Echo.
Martzoukas has lodged an appeal against his conviction.