Cousins must return for Cyprus jail hell

TWO cousins will go to jail in Cyprus in the wake of a death crash on the island after a court ruled they should be extradited to the country.

TWO cousins will go to jail in Cyprus in the wake of a death crash on the island after a court ruled they should be extradited to the country.

Michael Binnington and Luke Atkinson, both from Witham, were passengers in a car driven by Atkinson's uncle, Julian Harrington, in Protaras, Cyprus, in August 2006, when it hit a moped.

The bike's pillion passenger, Christof Papiris, 17, was knocked off and killed, while the rider was seriously injured.

Harrington, also from Witham, had pursued the moped after a brawl outside a nightclub. He is currently serving a 15-year-jail term in Cyprus after admitting manslaughter and causing grievous bodily harm.

But Atkinson, 24, and Binnington, 23, have argued that they were only involved unwittingly as drunken passengers.

They were acquitted by a Cypriot court in February 2007, but this was overturned in January the following year by a higher court.

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The pair were sentenced to three years in prison and European arrest warrants were later issued to return them to the island.

Their legal team had argued that their trial was unfair, but district judge Quentin Purdy disagreed and today ruled that the duo should be extradited to serve their jail term on the island.