BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Last Updated: Thursday, 5 October 2006, 18:58 GMT 19:58 UK
Bogus cabbie killed travel agent
Stephanie Hammill
Stephanie Hammill worked as a travel agent
A Greek man posing as a cab driver was responsible for the kidnap and manslaughter of travel agent Stephanie Hammill in Wakefield, a jury has found.

She died after getting into what she thought was a taxi in November 2003.

Ioannis Revenikiotis, 28, of Dewsbury, was described by a judge at Leeds Crown Court as a "predatory sexual animal liable to attack other women".

The engineer, who was earlier found mentally unfit to stand criminal trial, is to be detained at a mental hospital.

He was found not responsible for two charges of kidnap and indecent assault.

As the foreman read out the jury's decision, there were tears from Miss Hammill's family in the public gallery.

It may be many years before you are safe to be released, if ever
Mr Justice Butterfield

The judge, Mr Justice Butterfield, said to Revenikiotis: "You have been found by this jury to have kidnapped Stephanie Hammill and treated her in such a way by so doing as to leave that innocent young woman to try to escape from your clutches and so meet her horrible, untimely and wholly unnecessary death.

"You are a predatory sexual animal liable to attack other women.

"It may be many years before you are safe to be released, if ever."

The court heard that the 20-year-old got into Revenikiotis's black Mercedes car in the mistaken belief it was a taxi.

The jury was told how Miss Hammill either jumped or fell from the car because she feared she was about to be sexually assaulted.

She was left "terrified" and with her leg trailing from the vehicle as it sped off.

'Indecent touching'

Moments later, she was found dead in Batley Road, Wakefield, after she was hit by another car.

The jury heard how she had become separated from her boyfriend, James Garland, as she got into the Mercedes following a night out in the city centre.

It was revealed in court Revenikiotis had a "propensity for indecently touching" women and had "forced himself" on an engineering student from Huddersfield University, where he got his degree.

One woman, who worked at the same firm as the defendant, told the jury how he touched her on the breast.

But the jury decided Revenikiotis did not kidnap and indecently assault another woman and he was formally found not guilty of these charges.

Richard Hebbert of the Crown Prosecution Service said that, because the defendant had been deemed unfit to stand trial, the jury had not been asked to decide whether he was guilty or not guilty, but just whether he had committed the acts with which he had been charged.

He said: "The criminal proceedings have yet to take place as and when the defendant is deemed fit to stand trial.

"That will determine whether he is guilty or not guilty."




SEE ALSO
Kidnap accused 'unfit for trial'
15 Sep 06 |  West Yorkshire
Dead woman's print 'found in car'
12 Sep 06 |  West Yorkshire
Dead woman 'feared sex assault'
11 Sep 06 |  West Yorkshire
Travel agent death case adjourned
05 Sep 06 |  West Yorkshire
Man in court over Stephanie death
20 Feb 06 |  West Yorkshire

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific