1. ITV Report

Family lawyer not aware of legal proceedings against Kerry Needham

A lawyer representing the family of Ben Needham says he is not aware of legal proceedings against Ben's mother, after reports that she is being sued for alleged comments made against the man implicated in Ben's disappearance 25 years ago.

Kerry Needham

South Yorkshire Police believe Konstantinos Barkas who died last year aged 62, accidentally killed Ben in an accident with his digger near to the remote farmhouse in Irakles, Kos, where Ben was last seen on July 24 1991.

Ben Needham went missing from the Greek island of Kos 25 years ago

Operation Ben officers, assisted by Greek Rescue and the Hellenic Red Cross, spent three weeks excavating the farmhouse and a fly tipping site 750 yards from it.

The work stopped on Sunday October 16. The day before a toy car - believed to be one the toddler was playing with on the day he disappeared - was found at the second site, backing the police claim that Ben was taken there after the accident.

South Yorkshire Police have excavated two sites in Greece looking for Ben

Despite the fact no human remains were found Det Insp Jon Cousins said at a Press briefing on Monday October 17 in Kos that it was his professional opinion that Ben died on the last day he was seen.

In an emotional newspaper interview after the dig finished Kerry made remarks about Konstantinos Barkas which upset his family, and have reportedly prompted them to sue Ben's mother for the impact it has had on their reputation. The Barkas family also claimed the discovery of a toy car was not enough evidence to prove that Ben was killed accidentally by Mr Barkas, who died last year aged 62.

Detective Inspector Jon Cousins of South Yorkshire Police at the scene in Kos, Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire/PA Images

South Yorkshire Police were led to the second site by an anonymous witness who came forward after an appeal on the island in May this year . Twenty areas , or depositions, were targeted. The toy car, which was bought in Kos by the family in 1991, was reportedly in good condition despite the number of years it had been buried.

In an interview for Calendar last month Kerry expressed her anger that the witness who came forward had held back information for so long. Kerry had been told earlier that month by detectives to "prepare herself for the worst" when the excavation happened.

Today Kerry's barrister Ian Brownhill from the London No5 Chambers said:

"Kerry Needham and I are in regular contact. Having spoken to her via video call yesterday morning there was no mention of her being served with proceedings. I will speak to Kerry today but cannot comment otherwise until I see any documents relating to a claim."

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