Retrial over soccer mascot killing

Braintree and Witham Times: Andy and Rhian Sebbage attended the inquest into the death of their son Robert at North Hampshire Coroner's Court in October last year Andy and Rhian Sebbage attended the inquest into the death of their son Robert at North Hampshire Coroner's Court in October last year

The case of a former England football team mascot who was stabbed to death on a Greek island is to go to a retrial, the family's lawyer has said.

Stelios Morfis, 22, was cleared of the murder of Robert Sebbage, 18, from Tadley near Basingstoke, Hampshire, but convicted of a lesser charge in September.

Mr Sebbage was pictured next to David Beckham when he appeared as a mascot for the England team in a friendly against Brazil at Wembley in 2007.

Family lawyer Angeliki Petta has told the BBC that the trial outcome was being contested and would be returned to court with a panel of more senior judges and a new jury. It is understood that the defence team would also be appealing over the sentence imposed on Morfis who was found guilty of causing deadly bodily injury without intent and sentenced to 11 years' imprisonment.

Ms Petta said the prosecution would be aiming to prove at the retrial that Morfis had intended to kill.

She said: "This should be comforting for the Sebbage family that it is contested. The whole procedure will be repeated - everything is going to be re-examined, the witnesses will be examined once more."

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman said: "FCO staff in Greece provided consular assistance to the Sebbage family and other British nationals involved in this case in advance of and during the trial, and, in line with our policy, consular staff attended both the first and last day of the trial. We stand ready to offer further consular assistance to the Sebbage family if required."

Mr Sebbage was killed while on his first holiday without his parents with a group of friends on the island of Zakynthos in July 2011.

Morfis was also convicted of causing dangerous bodily injury without intent to four of Mr Sebbage's friends. Another man, Dimosthenes Mylonas, 26, was charged as an accomplice but was found not guilty.

A verdict of unlawful killing was recorded by North Hampshire Coroner Andrew Bradley at an inquest in October 2011.

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