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Harrow pupil 'died after assault outside Malia nightclub'

Published 19/04/2016

Archie Lloyd died while on holiday with friends in Malia, Greece
Archie Lloyd died while on holiday with friends in Malia, Greece

A public schoolboy died on the penultimate day of his Interrail holiday after being assaulted outside a nightclub in the Greek resort of Malia, an inquest has heard.

Harrow pupil Archie Lloyd was celebrating the end of his A-Level exams with four friends when he was struck by a club promoter following an angry exchange in the early hours of August 6 last year.

Security guards told Greek police the 18-year-old's friends refused to let him go to hospital after he fell against the curb outside the Cloud Nine venue.

Earlier, Mr Lloyd and best friend Andy Hutchinson had obstructed two women and club promoter Sebastian Trabucatti from riding their mopeds past them, the hearing was told.

Mr Hutchinson told Winchester Coroner's Court his friend yelled "one day you'll work for me" seconds before he was floored. One of the two girls on mopeds shouted "you deserved that", the hearing was told.

Mr Lloyd was tended to "for three minutes" by medics before being given the all-clear, leaving Mr Hutchinson and others to take him back to their villa in the Sissi region.

Mr Hutchinson said he was so concerned for his friend that he sought a second medical opinion when they got home, but the telephone number they were given did not reply.

The friends put gifted sportsman Mr Lloyd in the recovery position and fell asleep at around 7am. However, they woke at midday and discovered blood on Mr Lloyd's pillow, who was unresponsive.

A pathologist estimated the teenager died at around 9am. They were due to fly home to London the following day.

During the inquest, Mr Hutchinson described how the "10-second" altercation began when the quad bike riders sounded their horns loudly while he and Mr Lloyd walked towards the taxi rank to go home.

He said: "Archie and I had our arms out to the side and told them to 'f*** off'. They were using their horns.

"They responded by being abusive. We moved out of the road. The riders then stopped their bikes in front of us.

"The man (Mr Trabucatti) got off his bike and moved towards us."

He said the promoter pushed him three times, forcing him to the ground.

He said Mr Lloyd might have felt bad for failing to intervene so shouted "one day you'll work for me" at the alleged attacker.

Mr Hutchinson said: "Archie started to walk off. The man walked towards him. In a split second I saw one of the women raise her hands and point to Archie, she said: 'You deserved that.'

"Archie was on the pavement with his prone body partly laid on the road.

"The man and the two women rode off."

He said a passing ambulance crew stopped at the scene and gave Mr Lloyd a "three-minute check-up".

But he denied the medical staff's claims that he refused to let his friend receive further assistance at the health centre.

Wiping tears from his eyes while giving evidence, Mr Hutchinson said his friend did not speak again after hitting the floor.

The court heard Mr Trabucatti was invited to attend the inquest but declined.

In his statements to Greek police, Mr Trabucatti - who the court heard was from England before working as a promoter in Greece - said he felt "threatened" by Mr Lloyd during the confrontation.

He said Mr Lloyd came at him "with his fists raised", something coroner Grahame Short said was unlikely given other witness statements - including from one of the moped riders - that Mr Lloyd and his friend tried to walk away without confrontation.

Mr Trabucatti told police: "I didn't want to get in a fight. I felt that I was threatened so I slapped him (Mr Lloyd).

"The deceased, due to the alcohol, stumbled and fell. When he sat back up I saw him talking to his friend."

Mr Trabucatti said he went to check on Mr Lloyd and was content he was okay.

He added: "I'm sorry about what happened to the young man but do not consider myself responsible for his death."

The court heard Mr Trabucatti has been charged with manslaughter in Greece but has yet to enter a plea. A trial would likely be held next year.

The court heard Mr Lloyd suffered a swelling to the brain and a haemorrhage due to a fractured skull.

A toxicology report showed he had 100 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood at the time of his death - the legal limit for drivers is 80mg/100ml. However, the court heard it was likely Mr Lloyd would have had a higher reading at the time of the incident.

Pathologist Adnan Al-Badri told the hearing there was a chance the keen sportsman would have survived if he received hospital attention in the wake of the fall.

He said a CT scan would have likely identified the skull fracture.

Mr Lloyd's mother wept as the coroner recorded a verdict of unlawful death.

He said: "I don't believe there was any refusal by Mr Lloyd, Mr Hutchinson or any of his friends being taken to hospital.

"Based on the evidence, I am sure that Mr Lloyd was struck in the face and I find it proven beyond all reasonable doubt that this was a deliberate and intentional act.

"I don't find there was any intention to cause death. But it was the inadvertent consequences that Mr Lloyd was knocked backwards and struck the back of his head, and death resulted."

He added: "In English law that results in involuntary manslaughter. It follows that I conclude that this was a death due to unlawful killing."

Mr Lloyd, who visited Amsterdam, Athens, Berlin, Budapest and Prague during his three-week tour of Europe, was a brother to older siblings Hector and Hugo, and to younger twin sisters, Kitty and Flora.

In a statement, the family said: "We have been left totally devastated by the loss of a wonderful brother and son but we know he will live on in all those who were ever fortunate enough to have met him.

"Archie was ready to take on the world, realising his dreams to study at university and travel when he tragically died.

"Archie was on a carefully planned and greatly anticipated trip across Europe with four friends from school. The boys had just finished their A-levels and Archie had just had his 18th birthday.

"He had his whole life ahead of him when, on a harmless night out, everything went tragically wrong and so many lives have been shattered as a result.

"Archie was a lifelong Arsenal supporter, cricketer, footballer - and pretty much any sport that he could have a go at was a passion.

"He was a boy who grasped every opportunity afforded to him and he had won a gap year travel scholarship to learn Mandarin and coach football in China.

"We would like to thank all our family and friends for their incredible support over the last eight months while we have tried to come to terms with our grief in losing such a wonderful son and brother as Archie."

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