Family is convicted for Greek café attack

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A British mother and her two sons were convicted by a Greek court yesterday after a row over a kebab dropped outside a café in Athens.

Christian Johnson, 22, and his 18-year-old brother, Frederick, were jailed for a year for assault and Vera Johnson, 45, was sentenced to three months for resisting arrest.

But the two sons avoided imprisonment by launching an immediate appeal, while agreeing to pay €10 (£7) a day for 12 months. Mrs Johnson was able to "buy off" her sentence by paying €817 (£570). Her fiancé, Andrew Glover, 44, was also accused of resisting arrest, but the charge against him was dropped in court.

The family, who emigrated to Greece from Tunbridge Wells in Kent more than a year ago, were arrested in the early hours of Sunday. A café owner, Dimitris Karamichalos, was said to have hit Christian on the head with an iron bar after seeing him drop a kebab outside his café. The brothers were accused of responding by stamping on Mr Karamichalos, breaking his leg.

After the court hearing, the brothers displayed bruises on their arms and back, alleging that they had been beaten while in police custody.

Claiming that they had been treated badly because of their nationality, Christian said: "The whole time it seemed like we were up against a big wall of prejudice."

The boys' father, Andy Staermose, 45, from St Leonards in East Sussex, said: "If the boys had been charged with GBH they would have gone to prison for eight years. I feel the man was injured by someone else. They plan to appeal against the convictions. They are not happy with the verdicts."

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