Robert Sebbage's family face new trial ordeal

Robert Sebbage's family face new trial ordeal

Robert Sebbage

Parents Andy and Rhian Sebbage at the launch of the Out of the Blue fund

First published in News Basingstoke Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

THE family of a teenager stabbed to death while on holiday in Greece are to endure the agonising ordeal of sitting through a trial for the second time because their son’s killer will face a new court case.

Robert Sebbage was killed on the Greek island of Zante on July 13, 2011 during a holiday with friends. Robert was fatally stabbed and four of his friends were also injured when they were attacked during a night out.

In September, Stelios Morfis, 22, was cleared of murdering 18-year-old Robert following a trial in Greece, but he was convicted of unintentional manslaughter and four counts of causing life-threatening bodily injuries, for which he was sentenced to 11 years in prison.

The Sebbage family, from Weyhill Close, Tadley, have now discovered that a retrial will be held because the prosecution has appealed against the verdict and sentence, and Morfis’ defence team has also appealed against the sentence, on the grounds that it is too severe.

The development means that Robert’s family, including his parents Andy and Rhian Sebbage, now face a potential two-year wait for the retrial.

Witnesses, including Robert’s friends, who were also stabbed during the attack, could have to relive the horror of the night again in front of more senior judges and a different jury.

Reacting to news of the retrial, Mrs Sebbage said: “We have a mixture of emotions. I wouldn’t want to go through the trial again because it’s such an ordeal and the emotional stress is horrendous. But we hoped the original sentence would be higher.

“We will go through it again, but only once more. Whether the outcome is different or not, we will walk away. You have to draw a line under it. And we have to be realistic because of the finances. Everyone thought it was over but it isn’t. It will cost a huge amount of money to go through this again.”

Mr and Mrs Sebbage set up a fund called Out of the Blue to raise money to fight for justice for Robert, and the fundraising efforts will now continue to pay for costs relating to the retrial.

Mrs Sebbage said the aim of the prosecution appeal is to prove that Morfis intended to kill Robert.

Recalling the end of the original trial, Mrs Sebbage said: “We walked out of the court crying and angry – all the emotions you can imagine.

“Whether you are in a rage or not, you choose to stab five people, and he (Morfis) caused seven stab wounds and Robert’s death. How any of his friends didn’t die, I will never know.

“We believe he (Morfis) chose to do what he did and chose to carry a dangerous weapon, and should take the punishment. He took a life so why should he be allowed out in five or 10 years and have the rest of his life ahead of him? He denied Robert that so why should he have it?”

To help raise money for Out of the Blue, go to outoftheblue-rjs.co.uk.

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