Schoolboy faces Cypriot jail for girlfriend's jet-ski death

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James Dudley, aged 16, was on holiday in Cyprus with his 16-year-old girlfriend, Hannah Sutton, when he struck her with a jet-ski last Tuesday. She died in hospital.

James, from Colwyn Bay, north Wales, pleaded guilty yesterday at Limassol District Court in Cyprus to causing death through want of precaution through recklessness or negligence. He spent last night in custody at police headquarters in Limassol. The maximum sentence he faces is up to four years in custody and a heavy fine. He also pleaded guilty to illegally driving a jet-ski without a licence or completing the required official forms.

Hannah's parents, Lynne and Stephen, have said they do not blame James, and were angry when he was taken straight into custody before a judge agreed to free him last week. They claimed the accident would not have happened if the Cyprus authorities had enforced the law properly.

James's uncle, Rhys Williams, who was in court in Cyprus, said the boy was distressed about being held in cells last night: "James was shocked by that and upset. He wants to be here with Hannah's family. He has now got to spend 24 hours by himself in a cell."

The couple were under the legal age, 18, for hiring and driving jet-skis. Two Cypriot men, aged 29 and 45, who own and run the jet-ski hire firm, also face charges but pleaded not guilty yesterday and will be tried in October.

James hopes to be spared a jail sentence and wants to be home for Hannah's funeral, in Dunham Massey, Cheshire, on Friday.

Mr Williams said: "From everybody's point of view - James', Hannah's family - everybody hopes that there is not a custodial sentence."

The pair were pupils at Rydal Penrhos School in north Wales. Hannah had just finished her GCSEs and was planning to take A-levels at the school in Cyprus where her mother teaches.