Distraught family of Marlow teenager killed in Zante appeal for witnesses

Distraught family of teenager killed abroad 'had no support'

Distraught family of teenager killed abroad 'had no support'

James Fifield

Tributes outside the Wye Valley School

Tributes outside the Wye Valley School

Tributes outside the Wye Valley School

First published in News Bucks Free Press: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

DISTRAUGHT relatives and friends of a teenager, who was killed on his first holiday abroad without his parents, have set up a witness appeal after they said the authorities offered no support.

James Fifield, 18, from Marlow, died on Saturday, July 5, near Laganas in Zante, after the quad bike he was driving was involved in a collision with a car being driven by a man from the island.

Friends and family are now appealing for potential witnesses as they say they still do not know how he died and have never seen a police report.

His mother, Claire Fifield-Moore says they have been treated awfully since his death, with a hoax company even offering to fly his body home for £3500 just three hours after the news was broken to them.

She said: “We shouldn’t have had to deal with everything which has come up since his death. We shouldn’t have needed to set up a witness appeal to find this information out. We should have had the support in the first place.

“I am not saying anything against Greece but if we are all meant to be under this band (the EU) why haven’t we had more support. It has made this a lot harder than it needed to be.”

The appeal was set up last week by Pippa Hastings, an 18-year-old girl who was staying at the same hotel as James and helped his friends cope following the tragic accident.

Mrs Fifield-Moore said: “All the information we have is because of Pippa and other people she had spoken to.

“On the day James died, two PCSOs came here. They really just came in and said ‘your son is dead’ and gave me a number for the Foreign Office who told us we couldn’t have a family liaison officer because he wasn’t murdered.

“To this day unless we put this appeal out and sat the boys down and tried to piece together everything, we still wouldn’t know what happened to James, all I wanted to know is my son didn’t suffer and that it wasn’t his fault.”

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman said we were informed of the death of a British national on July 5 and offered consular assistance to the family at the time and we continue to support them as well as work with the Greek authorities.

The decision regarding a liaison officer would have been advised from local police, authorities confirmed.

Since the ‘witness appeal in Zante’ went out on social media three people have come forward to say they knew something, one man said he was with James on the night and the other two said they saw the collision.

James’ family have also been critical of the way his seven friends were treated when they discovered there had been an accident.

Mrs Fifield-Moore said: “They were 18, they were kids, the police didn’t go back to speak to them or interview them, Thomas Cook weren’t there, the rep turned up for 10 minutes and said he would come back with information but he never returned.

“They were left there for three days and my main problem with Thomas Cook and everyone else is they just weren’t supported.

“The hotel was great but the police weren’t there at all, the hospital just shut the doors on them and these kids were just left there waiting to go home, it is just the most horrendous thing, they were devastated and stuck.”

She added we just want to get justice for James; it may be a cliché but it’s true, we just need to lay him to rest knowing we have done everything we can.

In a letter to James’ grandma at the end of last month, Thomas Cook Risk and Crisis Planning Manager, Carol MacKenzie, sent her condolences to the family.

She said: “I have personally requested a full investigation into the interaction with the teams in Zante and the UK, in the aftermath of your grandson’s accident.

“Once we have all of the details I can either write, call or arrange to visit in person to discuss the findings and lessons learned with you and your daughter.”

To help find justice for James please visit www.facebook.com/zantewitnessappeal

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