A club promoter has been spared jail despite being convicted of killing a public schoolboy with a single punch during a night out at a Greek resort.
Archie Lloyd was celebrating the end of his A-Level exams with friends in Malia when he was knocked to the ground by Sebastian Trabucatti from Haywards Heath.
Three judges and four jurors took less than an hour to find the 25-year-old guilty of first degree manslaughter after a trial at the Court of First Instance in Heraklion in Crete on Tuesday.
But after a short deliberation, judges decided he would be spared any immediate jail time and handed down a suspended four-year prison sentence.
Mr Lloyd’s parents James and Claire sat hand-in-hand as they waited for the verdict, supported by a large crowd of relatives, many of whom burst into tears as it was announced.
They said later they were ‘relieved’ his killer had finally been brought to justice.
Sebastian Trabucatti took our wonderful son, brother and friend away from us when he attacked him, shattering many lives as a result.Archie Lloyd’s family
Trabucatti punched 18-year-old Mr Lloyd and pushed over his best friend Andy Hutchinson in the drunken row at 5am on August 6, 2015 in the middle of a street off the town’s main strip, the court heard.
The group had exchanged insults which culminated in Mr Lloyd saying to Trabucatti ‘one day you will work for me’, before walking off.
He was charged in 2015 and the year after a UK coroner recorded a verdict of unlawful killing at an inquest.
In a statement released through their lawyers, Mr Lloyd’s family said: “We have been waiting almost three years for the day when Archie’s attacker was brought to justice and we are relieved that this moment has finally come.
“Sebastian Trabucatti took our wonderful son, brother and friend away from us when he attacked him, shattering many lives as a result.
“While nothing will bring Archie back, we are pleased that he was found guilty of the first degree criminal offence of which he was accused.”
Dressed in a grey suit with a white shirt and a silver and blue striped tie, Trabucatti looked bewildered and cried during most of the proceedings as he sat hunched on a bench at the front of the court.
It is the first time he has publicly answered questions about the incident, after refusing to attend the inquest. He ignored requests for a comment after the case ended.
In court he denied being responsible for the death, claiming it was a slap and not a punch, and said: “I never expected anything like this to ever happen.”
He and several other English witnesses gave evidence aided by an interpreter.
Mr Lloyd’s father relayed the findings of the inquest as he answered questions on the stand, adding: “The only person who saw how badly Archie was hurt was the defendant. The only person who saw the fall clearly was the defendant.”
Mr Lloyd, of Micheldever near Winchester, Hampshire, died on the penultimate day of his Interrail holiday after the assault occurred near the Cloud Nine nightclub where Trabucatti had worked.
The month-long trip around Europe with four school friends came just after he turned 18 and finished his exams.
Mr Hutchinson told how the group went to a club – where they briefly met Trabucatti in a toilet – and then to have a lap dance but he went outside to be sick and decided to leave.
He told how Mr Lloyd caught up with him and they walked in the middle of the road to get a taxi when they clashed with Trabucatti, his girlfriend Faye Malcolm and another woman.
They were all on quad bikes and were hooting at them to move out of the way on the narrow street.
Trabucatti pushed Mr Hutchinson to the ground and then punched Mr Lloyd in the face. He also fell to the ground, hitting his head.
Paramedics checked Mr Lloyd at the scene and gave him the all-clear before the group went back to a villa they had rented in nearby Sissi.
Concerned he had not spoken since being hit and because he seemed drowsy, they got him into bed and tried to ring emergency services but could not get through.
They woke a few hours later to find he had died. Pathologists determined he died after experiencing swelling on the brain and a haemorrhage.
Mr Hutchinson said he did not see what happened after Mr Lloyd’s comment and afterwards heard a woman say ‘you deserved that’ before seeing his friend lying on the ground.
Wiping away tears, he told how Mr Lloyd was unresponsive for about 30 seconds before he ‘squeezed his hand’ to indicate he was conscious, adding: “He couldn’t speak.
“A security guard was there, he indicated with his fist, the sign of a punch, so I assumed he had been punched.”
The family’s lawyer, Kieran Mitchell of Slater and Gordon, said Mr Lloyd should have been on a ‘harmless’ night out when his life was cut short
He said: “One moment of madness ended the life of a young man with so much potential and left his family distraught. It has been a long battle to get justice, but I am relieved that this has finally been achieved.”
Directly translated from Greek, Trabucatti’s charge is physical injury resulting in death. It is referred to as manslaughter in the first degree which involves the court establishing whether there was an intention to cause injury, but not kill, lawyers in Crete said.