The Malta Independent 1 July 2016, Friday

Updated - Charges against Stephen Martin dropped: Diving association, GTA welcome news

Wednesday, 20 January 2016, 08:40 Last update: about 6 months ago

The Professional Diving Schools Association today said it welcomed the news that all charges and European arrest warrant against Stephen Martin have been dropped following the intervention of the Attorney General.

Stephen was charged last July with two counts of involuntary homicide, following the deaths in Gozo in June 2014 of Larissa Hooley and Nigel Haines, despite the fact a UK inquest had concluded in February 2015 that they died due to a diving accident. The charges have been dropped.

“We thank the MTA for their support with special thanks to Dr Gavin Gulia, for his assistance and guidance throughout this case,” PDSA said in a statement.

This was a tragic incident, and our thoughts go out to Larissa and Nigel’s family, as well as Mr Martin and his fellow divers who were present during this ordeal, the association said.

Over the years Malta and Gozo have gained an excellent reputation for offering visiting divers top quality service, safety and care, PDSA said. This reputation has taken our industry many years to build and our aim is to maintain this high level of service provision and to re-instil confidence in our customers so that they keep returning and recommending our islands to their friends, it added.

The Gozo Tourism Association on behalf of the Gozitan trade and especially on behalf of our members of the Diving Centres operating from Gozo, noted with interest the conclusion of the legal proceedings regarding the diving incident which took place in Dwejra, Gozo in June, 2014.

Whilst expressing its sympathy to the families of the two divers who died tragically in this incident, the Gozo Tourism Association is relieved that this episode is now a closed chapter. The association thanked all those stakeholders who during the past months gave their input in this matter, especially the Malta Tourism Authority who has taken special and very careful interest in this issue. 

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