Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting HL NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Luke Walker's gran "thrilled" at bail news
1:22pm Wednesday 17th October 2012 in News
Buy this photo » Betty Walker with photo of Luke (left) & his brother Ryan. Buy photo: 421239L
THE 80-year-old grandmother of a Black Country barman accused of killing his girlfriend in Crete says she is “thrilled” at the news he is to return home after Greek officials halted his trial and granted him bail.
Cradley Heath Salvation Army stalwart Betty Walker has been doing her bit to raise cash to help her grandson Luke Walker clear his name.
The 24-year-old, who is charged with murdering 20-year-old Chelsea Hyndman from Yorkshire by beating her, was due to go on trial yesterday( Tuesday October 16) but after just an hour the hearing at the Mixed Criminal Court in Heraklion was adjourned – and bail was granted to allow Luke to return to the UK for the first time in two-and-a-half years.
Luke, from Gayfield Avenue, Brierley Hill, has strenuously denied the charge and his gran Betty, from Lawrence Lane, Cradley Heath, has been one of his most dedicated supporters.
And yesterday she spoke of her joy at hearing he could be back home by this weekend.
She said: “I’m thrilled. I still can’t take it in. But I’m questioning why he’s been held this two-and-a-half years and why they couldn’t have sent him home in the first place.”
The great-grandmother-of-ten said the decision to allow Luke home to await further proceedings had come completely out of the blue.
She added: “We were just completely stunned.”
In an earlier interview she told the News the last two-and-a-half years have been “really horrible” for Luke.
She said: “I just don’t know how he’s got through being in prison over there. I prayed every night that God would watch over him.”
Betty is now looking forward to meeting Luke at the airport when he finally touches down on British soil – and she plans to continue holding regular table top sales at her local Army HQ to help raise money to prove his innocence.
She said: “It’s really this kind of thing that’s helped me through the last two-and-a-half years.”
Her next sale will be at Cradley Heath Salvation Army on Saturday October 20 from 10am to 2pm.
Big-hearted Betty also raised £1,000 towards Luke’s legal fees by asking for donations instead of gifts for her 80th birthday earlier this year.
The Walkers have spent up to £200,000 on legal costs – and on Tuesday another 10,000 euros was added to pay for Luke’s bail to allow him to leave Greece until the trial resumes.
His solicitor Georgios Pyromallis said the case was postponed due to the absence of two key witnesses and he added: “The new trial date has not been announced.”
The family, however, believe it will be into the New Year before it is rescheduled.