Update on Stephen Martin Case

The British Sub Aqua Club issued this statement at 3pm today, Tuesday 12th January 2016.

"This morning (Tuesday 12th January) BSAC’s Chairman, Chief Executive and National Diving Officer met with the Attorney General of Malta to discuss the Stephen Martin case.

 

Stephen Martin, British Sub Aqua Club, BSAC, involuntary homicide, diving death, scuba diving death, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, diving in Malta, scuba diving in Gozo

BSAC member Stephen Martin has been charged with two counts of involuntary homicide following a diving incident in Gozo in 2014, in which two people tragically died.

Following BSAC’s last meeting in Malta in November regarding Stephen’s case, we have continued to work with the Malta Tourism Authority to secure a meeting with the Maltese Attorney General.

It was a very frank, open and direct meeting lasting 1 hour 40 minutes in which we questioned the strength of the case against Stephen Martin. We very firmly explained our dismay at this case ever being brought against Stephen. We believe there is a complete lack of evidence to support it and have questioned all aspects of this case.

While the Attorney General listened to our representations and views, he explained procedurally he is unable to withdraw the case at this time.

We also met with Stephen’s legal representative in Malta and continue to work with both him and Stephen’s legal representative in the UK as well as the Malta Tourism Authority to maintain pressure and to explore all possible opportunities.

Stephen has been fully updated as to what has taken place. There will be a further hearing in Malta on the 25 January at which we hope the Maltese authorities will reconsider their position and drop the case."

BSAC To Assist Member With Legal Costs

The British Sub Aqua Club Council has just released this statement regarding the Stephen Martin involuntary homicide case due to be held in Gozo.

"As a BSAC member, you may be aware of the case involving one of our members, Stephen Martin. Stephen was present on a dive in Malta when two divers very sadly died in June 2014. An inquest held in the UK in February 2015 returned a verdict of diving accident. However, Stephen has been charged with involuntary homicide by a court in Gozo, and served with an extradition order to return to Malta.

Stephen Martin, scuba diving in Gozo and Malta, BSAC, British Sub Aqua Club, involuntary homicide case, scuba diving deaths, diving insurance
BSAC would very much like to assist Stephen in his defence of the charge. We have been advised that the 2014/2015 BSAC Third-Party Liability Insurance that was in place at the time of the incident does not cover Stephen’s defence costs. Council has taken legal advice as to whether BSAC is liable to fund Stephen’s legal costs and has been advised that it is not. Of course this does not help Stephen, which is something we would like to do.

At a special meeting Council agreed that BSAC will assist Stephen with the legal costs of his defence of the case, up to £100,000. We have met with Stephen today to move this forward. Stephen has also agreed for this statement to be released.

BSAC is a members’ organisation and Council is elected to represent all its members’ diving interests. In reaching the decision to support Stephen, Council has considered the needs of the membership as a whole, and we believe that this is an appropriate use of BSAC funds. BSAC Council hopes that the majority of our members will feel the same way.

Stephen Martin, scuba diving in Gozo and Malta, BSAC, British Sub Aqua Club, involuntary homicide case, scuba diving deaths, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing CompanyBeyond our deep regret that two fellow divers died in this incident, and our sadness that Stephen has faced hardship since that day, we are extremely sorry that we have been unable to release this news previously.

We are aware that there is a school of thought held by some of our members that BSAC has been lacking, to date, in its support for Stephen. We were unable to make any financial commitment to Stephen until we had exhausted all our discussions with our insurers on his behalf and received legal advice. It would have been entirely inappropriate for us to comment either privately (to Stephen) or publicly until those were complete. The lengthy delays in deciding how to proceed are regrettable. We would like to say sorry to Stephen for the concern this has caused and promise our members that we will do better in the future.

We will make further details regarding diving responsibilities and diving in Malta, along with a detailed FAQ guide to the current Third-Party Liability insurance to complement the official policy document, available to all members as soon as possible. The 2015/2016 Third-Party Liability Policy with Liberty Insurance includes criminal defence costs for manslaughter, corporate manslaughter and culpable homicide."