Cerys Potter: Four face jail over Turkey raft death

image source, Cerys Potter Foundation
image captionCerys Potter drowned when the white-water raft she was in capsized

A Turkish court has sentenced four men over the "reckless killing" of a nine-year-old south Wales girl who drowned on a river when a raft capsized.

Cerys Potter, from Llancarfan, Vale of Glamorgan, died in 2010 in rapids on a nine-mile (14km) stretch of the Dalaman river near the Aegean coast.

The four men were each given a five-and-a-half-year jail term. They have 10 days to appeal against the verdict.

Her father, Terry, from Llancarfan, said: "Nothing can bring Cerys back."

image source, (C) British Broadcasting Corporation
image captionThe incident happened at a lake in southern Turkey

The court heard that a total of nine holidaymakers had died in similar circumstances on the river.

media captionTerry Potter, of Llancarfan, said 'no sentence is long enough'

It is understood two of the four defendants were directors of the company which ran the excursion in which Cerys died.

The other two were both employees of the firm. All four were found guilty of causing death by recklessness.

Mr Potter added: "This should put a clear message that they can't carry on killing British holidaymakers including children and just get away with it.

"It is sad that it has taken the deaths of nine holidaymakers on this rafting trip to get to this stage but we do hope that they get the message now."

Vale of Glamorgan MP Alun Cairns said the Potter family had been instrumental in ensuring justice for their daughter.

He said: "I pay tribute to Terry and Julie Potter who have been relentless in their pursuit of this process in the interests of other holidaymakers.

"The family have channelled their energy from such a terrible tragedy to ensure no-one else experiences the same kind of incident.

"The scale of the sentence sends a strong message to tourist operators to rafting instructors that they cannot get away with their blatant disregard of health and safety standards."

Mr Cairns said he would raise the issue of the appeal with the Turkish authorities to ensure it was heard as quickly as possible.

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