Heart-broken mum of Hackney man calls for more support for families of victims abroad
The grieving mum of a Hackney man who was beaten to death at a German nightclub has called for more support for the families of victims abroad.
Marie Heath, who is awaiting the trial of three men charged with manslaughter following the loss of her son, has criticised the Foreign Office (FCO) over its ‘failure’ to help her follow legal proceedings.
Lee Heath, 31, who grew up in Coopersale Road, Homerton, suffered severe head and internal injuries in an attack at the popular u60311 club in Frankfurt in the early hours of Easter Monday.
He died in hospital after undergoing four operations in two days.
Marie, 52, from Silver End in Essex, had flown be by his side with his younger brother Danny, 28.
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She says she has already paid out �5,000 and fears the family will be forced into debt.
“Our lives have been turned upside down but we were going to be financially crippled too.
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“My son’s been killed and I still have to worry about finances.”
And she has hit out at the FCO over its inability to provide a translator for the trial or a family liaison officer.
“Unless we pay a phenomenal amount of money we won’t know what’s going on,” she said.
“But criminals in this country get a translator for their trial as a human right.
“The Foreign Office hasn’t done anything - but claims to be assisting families.”
“I think they should sit up and listen. It’s too late for us - but if anyone else ended up in my position, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.
“Every day I have a pain in my chest as if my heart is breaking.
“I want to make a change. Lee’s not going to die for no reason.”
A spokeswoman for the FCO said: “We are in regular contact with Mrs Heath and we are doing all we can to provide assistance and support during this difficult time.
“We have explained what help we can provide and encouraged them to keep in touch with their German legal representative to help them with the German legal process.”
She said the FCO worked closely with the Victim Support National Homicide Service to support bereaved families.