Sentence increased for taxi driver Stelios Morfis

Basingstoke Gazette: Robert Sebbage Robert Sebbage

A GRIEVING Tadley couple have spoken of their relief after the man who killed their son has been told he must serve a longer prison sentence.

Andy and Rhian Sebbage, along with their other two sons Steven and Martin, have spent the last week in Patras, Greece, for the retrial of Stelios Morfis.

The Greek taxi driver was jailed for 11 years in 2012 after being found guilty of the unintentional manslaughter of 18-year-old Robert, and causing life-threatening bodily injuries to four of his friends, on the Greek island of Zante on July 13, 2011.

But the Greek prosecutor’s office believed the sentence should have been longer, and that Morfis should have been found guilty of intentional manslaughter.

This is the second time the Sebbage family has flown out to Greece for a retrial, after the original hearing in June was adjourned.

Today, just five days before the third anniversary of their son’s death, Andy and Rhian heard that the original verdict has been overturned and a new verdict, of murder in the third degree, has been concluded by the Superior Court of Appeals, in Patras.

Morfis will now serve a 16 year and four month prison sentence. For the third degree murder of Robert, the sentence imposed was 12 years.

For the assaults on Jordan Manson, Sam Champion, Steven Granston and Callum Lane, all of whom went to The Hurst Community College with Robert, a 20-month prison sentence for each stabbing was imposed, and a further penalty of two years for carrying and using a deadly weapon.

These will be served, in part, concurrently - resulting in a final sentence of 16 years and four months.

Robert’s family has expressed their deep gratitude for the continued support of their family, friends and the wider community.

A statement from the family said: “We are extremely relieved that the Superior Court of Appeals has increased the severity of the punishment imposed on Stelios Morfis, and that he has been accurately represented in court as a murderer.

“However, we are forever conscious that no penalty will ever be enough to ease the pain of losing our beloved son and brother.

“We would like to thank our very dedicated legal team in Greece and our Greek interpreter, as well as our many wonderful family members and friends who have supported us through the last difficult three years.

“We would now appreciate some time and privacy as a family to reflect on this painful experience, and finally move on with our grief.”

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