Briton charged over girlfriend 'pushed from balcony'

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The Independent Online

A British man has been arrested on suspicion of trying to murder his girlfriend after allegedly pushing her off a balcony in a Greek holiday resort.

Sarah Maskell, 34, is believed to be pregnant. She fell 21 feet from a hotel balcony in the resport of Malia in Crete and was impaled on an iron railing spike in the early hours of yesterday morning.

She was cut free by firefighters before being taken to a hospital in the nearby city of Heraklion - the same hospital where a Briton was treated in August after he jumped from a hotel window with his two children, killing his six-year-old son.

Miss Maskell has a punctured lung and her condition is said to be critical. The fate of her baby remains unknown.

A Foreign Office spokesman said Michael Edwards appeared before the public prosecutor yesterday morning and has been charged with attempted murder.

The spokesman confirmed the victim was Miss Maskell, from High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire.

He also said Mr Edwards has a son but could not confirm reports that the boy, aged four, was with the couple and witnessed the incident.

Earlier this summer, British businessman John Hogan, 32, was charged with murder after allegedly jumping off a hotel balcony with his two children, killing his six-year-old son Liam.

That incident occurred on August 15 at the Cretan resort of Ierapetra, on the other side of the island, around 45 miles from Malia.