Family of digger driver at centre of Ben Needham disappearance plan to sue

Ben Needham
Ben Needham
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The family of the digger driver at the centre of the Ben Needham disappearance is seeking compensation.

Relatives of the Greek digger driver suspected of accidentally killing Ben, from Sheffield, in July 1991 are planning on suing his mother, Kerry.

Digger driver Konstantinos Barkas' daughter, Maria Tsechou, claims Kerry Needham 'undermined' their family's reputation when the 43-year-old said she hoped their father was 'burning in hell'.

Mrs Tsechou said her 'patience' had run out with Mrs Needham after her comments over the police investigation into the disappearance of Ben, which is focusing on the theory that that digger driver Mr Barkas accidentally crushed and buried Ben as he cleared land close to where the 21-month-old was last seen.

A toy car belonging to Ben was found on a site where Mr Barkas dumped material from the building plot he was working on when Ben vanished on the Greek island of Kos 25 years ago.

Ms Tsechou told The Times: “We have a family reputation to uphold and my personal patience, even as a mother, was exhausted when Ben’s mother last week uttered what she did," .

“How dare she? Enough with this horrid affair.”

The driver's son, Valantis Barkas, told The Dailly Mail: "Kerry should be ashamed of herself. We are very upset by the things she has said about my father Dinos – such as that he should burn in hell.

"It’s been 25 years and they have found nothing at all – not a shred of evidence to support these wild allegations against my father.

"My father has been accused of being a child killer and his picture has been published everywhere without a trace of evidence."

South Yorkshire detectives told Ben's family that they believe he died in an accident after finding the toy car.

The car was unearthed during a three week search of land close to where Ben was last seen alive.

No remains were found.

Ben's family always believed he had been abducted until detectives started investigating the digger driver theory.

Before excavation work started they told Ben's family to 'prepare for the worst'.

Kerry's solicitor, Ian Brownill, said: "Following recent reports that legal proceedings have commenced against Kerry Ann Needham, I can confirm that to date no papers have been served on Kerry.

"Ms Needham and her family are at present in a period if reflection but will continue to seek the truth surrounding Ben's disappearance.

"Those of us assisting the Needham family will continue to do so fearlessly, the overarching aim always being to reunite this family and protect the rights of a mother and her child."

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