There have been two hearings in the Civil Court where the Morgan family have sued Sunsail.
The first trial was held in April 2011 and 5 months later, judgement was pronounced that Sunsail were responsible for Laura’s death. The family members were awarded substantial compensation. Sunsail appealed this decision and the appeal was heard in April 2013 – judgement is awaited.
There have been 7 criminal trials in Greece since Laura’s death in 2003. Here is a synopsis of the trials written by Laura’s mother Lynne.
Trial Timeline – 7 Trials over 7 years
31.7. 03 Laura pronounced dead in Lefkada Town Hospital,Lefkada,Greece
14. 12. 04 Court of Misdemeanours in Lefkada
– 5 Sunsail employees charged with Laura’s manslaughter through negligence. Lynne gets hearing adjourned due to insufficient notice of the hearing.
11.10.05 Court of Misdemeanours, Lefkada
– Lynne goes out to Greece for trial which is adjourned after 30 mins because one of the defendants did not have the summons served on him and therefore did not have any legal representation.
21. 3. 06 Court of Misdemeanours, Lefkada
– Lynne has to fly to Athens and drive across Greece in a hire car to reach Lefkada to be a witness.
3 defendants – Will Hutton ( Sunsail’s Club Vounaki Manager), Rebecca Morgan ( Sunsail’s Manager of Watersports at the resort) and Kevin Jones ( Sunsail’s Beach Safety and Training Manager at Club Vounaki) are found guilty and sentenced to 18 months imprisonment suspended for 3 years . The Defendants appeal
20/23.4.07 Court of Appeal , Patras – complete re-hearing of case. Lynne is a witness for the prosecution
– The convictions of two of the SunsailEmployees ( Will Hutton and Kevin Jones) upheld with sentences reduced to 15 months and suspended for 3 years. Rebecca Morgan found not guilty – she was not working at the time of the incident. Appeal to Supreme Court,Athens
11.4. 08 Hearing at the Supreme Court ( Areios Pagos) , Athens. ( Lawyers only at the Supreme Court )
Supreme Court judges order a re-trial on a Legal technicality – that the post mortem report into Laura’s death was not cited as a document in the Appeal Judge’s summing up.
2 .12.08 Back to Court of Appeal, Patras – complete re-hearing of case.
– Convictions of the 2 Sunsail employees upheld for a 3rd time. Sentences reduced to 10 months in prison suspended for 3 years . Further appeal to Supreme Court
12.2.10 2nd Hearing of Supreme Court, Athens.
30.6. 10 Notification that the Supreme Court has rejected the defendants’ appeal
The final outcome in Greece – the GUILTY verdicts ‘ homicide by misadventure’ stand against Will Hutton Manager of Sunsail’s Vounaki Beach Hotel and Kevin Jones – Sunsail’s Beach Safety and Training Manager
9.12.10 Copy of the Areios Pagos Judgement received by email and translated by Notts Police.
Sunsail is now part of TUI Travel PLC – an international leisure travel company formed by the merger of First Choice Holidays PLC and the tourism division of TUI AG in 2007