10 YEARS ago in March 2009, Dumfries woman Jean Hanlon/Porter was found dead whilst on holiday in Greece, it was alleged that she had died by accidental drowning. Due to her terrible injuries her family did not beleive that Jean had died by simply drowning. The case was greatly publicised in the press and media at the time. But 10 years on her family still feel that there are many unanswered questions and inconsistencies that have not been fully investigated and they have launched a petition in the hope to raise enough awareness to have their mothers case re-opened.
Jeans son Michael James Porter spoke to DGWGO News in a recent interview – Michael Said “My mum, Jean Hanlon/Porter, a born and bred Doonhamer, disappeared on Monday 9 March 2009 and her bruised and battered body was pulled from Heraklion Harbour on Friday 13 March 2009.
My brothers and I flew out to Crete and were taken straight to the morgue where we had to identify her scarcely recognisable body. We were told that the initial post mortem had decreed that her death was an accidental drowning, however after seeing her horrific numerous injuries, we realised that this conclusion was incorrect and this was backed up by information we had been told leading up to her disappearance.
Focusing on this awful image together with further personal research, we persisted with the authorities that there was no way this could have been a total accident. Our diligence and perseverance led them to give us an updated version of their original post mortem findings and we were then told that her injuries were such that she would have been dead before entering the water. She had a broken neck, shattered ribs, punctured lung and showed signs of a struggle. This information then led to the official final declaration that her body must have been discarded in the water by persons as yet unidentified.”
Michael continued “On a personal level, my family know that there was no secondary post mortem done, so we strongly feel that this information was always there but not disclosed. We also believe that the Greek authorities just wanted to dismiss the case as an accident to avoid adverse publicity for the forthcoming summer season and this omission probably led to important evidence being overlooked and/or discarded.
Since then, we have given all the information we have to the authorities in Heraklion and there have been intermittent episodes of investigation that have led nowhere. We feel, with increasing frustration, that they are just not digging deep enough as there are still many unanswered questions and inconsistencies that have not been fully investigated and explored thoroughly. The case was archived in 2015 but was then re-opened after my personal meeting with the Greek Ambassador in London who shook my hand and was very helpful and supportive. He then wrote a personal letter, on Embassy headed paper, to the Greek prosecutor giving his support to our case. On seeing the high-profile support that we had, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) realised that maybe they needed to show willing and offered temporary support but this interest has long since dwindled
We found a Greek lawyer who worked tirelessly for us but in mid-2018 he felt that he had done all he could and relinquished the case which has since been archived again by the prosecutor in Heraklion. I have since spoken to a new lawyer who has advised us that he agrees that there are many unanswered questions and inaccuracies in the case but unless new information/evidence comes to light, there are no actual grounds at present to re-open the case. We are however fully aware that, according to Greek law, the case will remain filed until 2029 when it will be closed for ever.”
Michael also stated “It has always been our family’s focus to get justice for our mum, however over the 10 years, I have committed my best efforts to also raise awareness of the plight of those who are going through a similar trauma and to try and make a difference for anyone who has this living hell thrust upon them. I have recently written to several people including the Greek President and Prime Minister as well as Nicola Sturgeon, the leader of the SNP however I have had no response to date….I am still hoping
As part of my fight to get justice for Mum, I have been privileged to have met many wonderful people who are sadly in a similar position to me and my family and who have come together in a common fight against foreign legal systems in order to get justice and/or answers about their loved ones who have died abroad and we, as a group, have campaigned and demonstrated to the FCO and Government to raise awareness until we get the help we need – something that is currently sadly lacking
As 2019 marks the 10th Anniversary of Mum’s death, I have put together a memorial video which showcases the highs and lows we have experienced and it also reiterates my heartfelt gratitude to everyone who has helped and supported us over the past 10 years.
I am sure that you can imagine the anguish my family and I have been through and I am therefore begging you to help me and my family get our Mum’s story broadcast to as many people as possible. To this end, I have started up a petition and I am imploring you to sign and share this extensively in the hope that it will be spread far and wide and ultimately bring enough signatures for someone to finally take notice and ensure that mum’s case is re-opened, thoroughly investigated, and justice is served”
You can find the petition by clicking here
Michael finaly said “My family and I will never give up until we have answers on what happened to our Mum so this petition is a heartfelt plea for you to view this compassionately and be able to help us in our quest for #JusticeForJean”