Dumfries man Michael Porter lost his mum, Jean Hanlon, six years ago after she was found dead in Heraklion Harbour in Crete. At the time Police on the Greek island wrote her death off as an unfortunate accident, but evidence later gathered by Michael and his elder brothers, David and Robert, suggests otherwise.
A second post-mortem demanded by the brothers revealed Jean had died before entering the water, having suffered substantial other injuries.
Michael and his family have spent the last seven years campaigning for the case to be reopened so that they can finally get answers to what happened to their mum and bring anyone who may have been responsible to justice.
Local MP Richard Arkless met Michael at Portculis House in Westminster last week for the second time. This new meeting was to discuss where things stand now and decide what further steps could be taken to move the case forward.
Following this meeting Mr Arkless, who is a former solicitor, said that he was confident that with the help of his Greek born Parliamentary Assistant, Anastasios Vourexakis, some substantial progress can now finally be made.
Commenting Mr Arkless said:
“Having Anastasios who is a fluent Greek speaker on board will be a massive boost to the case. One of the first things we’re going to do to is translate the full 38 page Greek Police Report into English – this will give the family the full details of what was and was not done at the time and should provide a clearer picture of where things stand now.
“We are also going to try to secure some air time on the Greek version of Crimewatch to hopefully jog some local people’s memories and remind everyone that the case remains unsolved.
“I will also be writing to the Greek Ambassador, in Greek, to ask him to push the Greek local authorities to re-open the case. I’m not sure they will ever have seen a letter from an MP in their native tongue – the aim is to grab their attention in a way that’s not been possible before.”
Speaking on local radio on 9th June, Michael Porter said of the meeting:
“It is refreshing to see how dedicated, passionate and sincere Richard and Anastasios were today at the meeting about helping me and my family and my mothers fight for justice.
“The one thing that we all need, especially in these circumstances, is support so when you have officials like themselves who show that they are passionate and dedicated about it as well, it just gives you a refreshing bonus. I am hopeful that with this new added support we can make a difference.”
To help keep people up to date with the case, Michael has founded a Facebook group called Justice for Jean which now has nearly 6,000 members. You can also follow Michael on Twitter JusticeForJean@ForJeanhanlon