Victim’s mother fights for European support

Greek EU Commissioner Maria Damanaki pic: ALDEADLE

The mother of a footballer from Croydon who was brutally attacked in Greece three years ago is continuing her campaign for victims’ rights in Europe. Maggie Hughes met Greek EU Commissioners on Wednesday August 31 to try to make fundamental changes in favour of supporting victims of crime abroad and their families.

Maggie has been fighting this cause ever since the attack which left her son in a coma while he was on holiday in Malia, Crete in 2008. Robbie Hughes was attacked by a group of British tourists and was left for dead; his family found they had nowhere to go for support or advice, and his mother spent over three months in Greece to be at his side.

Maggie told Euronews: “We have a fantastic victim-support office in England. But the problem in our case was, because my son was a victim of crime abroad, we couldn’t tap into that because we were abroad.”

Robbie, a former Croydon Athletic and Sutton United player, has undergone four life-saving brain operations since 2008 and still suffers from memory loss and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). According to the Sutton Guardian, he has still not received treatment for these conditions, and his mother – alongside her fight for victim support – is also having to fight health bosses to treat his “worsening condition”. The treatment requires requisite funding for the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust. A spokesman for NHS South West London, said for reasons of patient confidentiality, it was not possible to discuss individual cases. She told the Sutton Guardian: “Decisions regarding funding of services for residents of Croydon requiring specialist mental health treatment not available within the borough are considered by the Croydon Mental Health Tertiary Panel.”

It has been widely reported that Robbie hopes to compete in the Paralympic Games next year. His story will be featured in the upcoming documentary series Best of British to be aired on C4 beginning September 14 at 10pm. The series will follow Paralympic athletes in their sporting and private lives as they aim for selection for the 2012 Games.

In the meantime, the European Commission is proposing minimum standards for helping crime victims across the EU, including the provision of clear information and special protection for child victims.


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