British policewoman, 22, fell to her death on Greek holiday island after 'being given poisoned alcohol'

4 September 2023, 18:49

Hannah Byrne was just 22 when she died
Hannah Byrne was just 22 when she died. Picture: Facebook

By Kit Heren

Detectives probing the death of a British police officer who suffered a fatal fall in a Greek tourist hotspot are investigating if she was given poisoned alcohol.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Hannah Byrne, 22, fell on the first day of her holiday in Kavos, a village in Corfu, and was found dead with a head wound.

The Surrey police officer went out on Friday evening with her friend, later staying out when her companion went back to the hotel.

She was found dead by a main road the next day, after falling several metres.

Ms Byrne's family released a statement paying tribute to her.

“Our beloved Hannah was beautiful inside and out.  She was extremely kind, funny, caring and had a real zest for life.

"She will be greatly missed by all who loved her."

Read more: Crooked House owners fly to Corfu and £20,000 a week villa - and 'plan to address pub controversy on return'

Read more: Corfu evacuation order issued after flights to Rhodes cancelled leaving terrified Brits fleeing raging wildfires

Hannah Byrne
Hannah Byrne. Picture: Facebook

Chief Superintendent Chris Colley, Divisional Commander for East Surrey, said: "Hannah’s death has been a shock for everyone who knew her.

"She was a bright, enthusiastic and respected officer just at the start of her career in policing and she will be sadly missed. 

"As a Force, we are now doing everything we can to support her family and her colleagues at this extremely difficult time."

Local investigators in Corfu are now trying to work out if Ms Byrne was given tainted alcohol, and if this contributed to her death.

Yannis Aivatidis, the chief medical officer for the area, said he felt alcohol on Ms Byrne's breath.

Hannah Byrne
Hannah Byrne. Picture: Facebook

He told the Sun: "There are questions as to what kind of alcohol she consumed. Had it been illicitly tampered with?

"Was she so intoxicated because [illegal] methanol was in the alcoholic drinks she had consumed?

"The answer lies in the toxicology tests that will be carried out."

Several bars in Corfu were recently raided and were found to be lacing drinks with methanol.

Aivatidis added: "Findings included fractures to her thorax, stomach and a small rupture of the spleen.

"But it was a traumatic head injury that killed her."

Aivatidis said authorities do not believe there was any criminal involvement in her death.

Hannah Byrne
Hannah Byrne. Picture: Facebook

He added: "I believe she may have confused the building she was staying in and may have fallen attempting to enter the one she was found outside of in an unorthodox manner.

"What remains unclear and is now part of the [police probe] is whether she was abandoned by friends after the fall."

Hannah's stepfather is expected to arrive in Corfu to bring home his stepdaughter's body this week.

Surrey Police said on Saturday: "Yesterday we were sadly made aware of the sudden death of a serving officer whilst they were on holiday in Corfu, Greece.

"We are working to support both their family and their colleagues here during this extremely difficult time.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

The president of Finland has said he 'doesn't agree with many things' Nigel Farage says in response to his comments on the war in Ukraine.

'Absolutely not': Finland's president dismisses Nigel Farage’s claim that Nato provoked Russia's war in Ukraine

A man went missing in the water off Bournemouth beach (file image)

Huge search operation launched for man missing in water off Bournemouth beach

Bosses face £1,000 fine for letting employees watch England's Euros clash with Denmark in the office

Offices showing England v Slovenia Euros clash could face hefty £1,000 fine

Princess Anne has been injured by a horse

King Charles sends 'fondest love’ to Princess Anne who will ‘quickly bounce back’ after being hit by horse

Callum the stag was "humanely euthanised".

Tourists blamed for death of 'legendary' stag after it was fed Rice Krispies and croissants

The Reform UK leader's comments came as he spoke to supporters at a rally in Kent on Tuesday, slamming the current government's ability to control immigration.

Farage warns of Channel migrant 'invasion' from countries 'with terrorism, gang culture and war zones'

Gavin Plumb is accused of plotting to kidnap Holly Willoughby

Obsessed security guard ‘plotted to keep Holly Willoughby in dungeon where screams couldn't be heard for miles'

At least two people have died in the fire

At least two dead as Moscow defence research centre bursts into flames ‘with staff trapped inside’

Parisians along River Seine, below Cathedral Notre Dame celebrate Fête de la Musique - annual city-wide music festival each June

British woman 'gang-raped in Paris at music festival'

Florida rapper Julio Foolio has been shot dead

Florida rapper Julio Foolio shot dead during his birthday in Florida

Meg Bellamy played Kate Middleton in The Crown

The Crown star Meg Bellamy reveals trolls branded her 'too fat' to play Kate in the show

Jay Slater's father has urged people to come forward if they have any information on his son's disappearance

'Someone must know something': Jay Slater's father speaks out as search for missing son stretches into second week

Security guard who plotted to kidnap, rape and murder Holly Willoughby previously held other women against their will

Security guard who plotted to kidnap, rape and murder Holly Willoughby previously held other women against their will

Princess Diana's family home in Mayfair has gone on sale for the first time in decades

'A trophy home with royal connections': Mayfair townhouse where Diana met Dodi on sale for £11m

A shopping centre security guard from Essex, spent almost two years plotting to kidnap and kill Holly Willoughby.

'Obsessed' security guard spent almost two years 'plotting to kidnap, rape and murder' Holly Willoughby

Princess Anne has been injured by a horse

Princess Anne rushed to hospital with concussion after being kicked in the head by horse on country estate