Holiday murder case reopens

Matthew Cryer
Matthew Cryer
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THE investigation into the murder of Sheffield teenager Matthew Cryer has been officially reopened by Greek Police - sparking hope the men who killed him will be finally brought to justice.

Matthew’s family has been fighting since July 2008 for the Greek authorities to pursue their son’s killers after the 17-year-old died on holiday on the island of Zante.

The 17-year-old, who was born and brought up in Frecheville, Sheffield, was on his first holiday abroad with pals when he was punched, hurled down a flight of stairs and left for dead.

A British inquest in 2009 ruled Matt was unlawfully killed - but Greek police refused to open a criminal inquiry into his death.

Now, in a victory for the Justice For Matthew campaign - backed by The Star - Greek courts have finally agreed to re-open proceedings.

The family’s solicitor Chris Deacon said the public prosecutor has been persuaded to reopen the case after letters to a number of Greek courts.

Matthew’s dad David Cryer, 44, said: “This is a massive boost for us. It is really moving things in the right direction.

“We launched an appeal to the Greek courts, and now the Supreme Court in Athens has put pressure on the court in Zante to reopen the case.

“It means that the police have to get out and re-investigate the whole thing.”

Mum Joanne Froud, 43, added: “This is what we have been trying to get them to do for a long time.

“It means they have to find out what happened to Matthew. We are hoping the police in Zante will now take into account the evidence gathered by Derbyshire Police and the coroner.

“But we know we have to keep the pressure up. They officially closed the file last September but there was inactivity for a long time before that.”

She added: “We will always fight for these people to be brought to justice - even if it takes years.

“We know this won’t bring him back - in fact it makes it harder because you don’t have time to properly grieve.

“But we have to carry on. I would feel like a worse human being if I didn’t. You can’t just let someone take a life and walk away.”

In 2009 an inquest found Sheffield Wednesday fan Matthew, from Killamarsh, was unlawfully killed. North Derbyshire Coroner Dr Robert Hunter ruled he had died from head injuries.

But the Greek authorities said they could not start criminal proceedings, claiming the perpetrators were ‘unknown’.

After months of dead-ends hope began to emerge for justice earlier this year after Matthew’s family tracked down the names of the doormen who assaulted him.

They employed a solicitor in Greece who trawled old police paperwork and discovered the identity of the bouncers.

The lawyer also discovered who owned the Cocktail and Dreams nightclub where the tragedy happened in the resort of Laganas.

The breakthrough gave Matthew’s family the material to open a civil case against the men.

But they were always clear only a criminal investigation would satisfy their search for justice - and the civil suit was only a staging post.