Second British victim in fatal Malia car crash is revealed to be female murderer who stabbed a neighbour to death for ‘disrespecting her’ and took part in first UK prison lesbian wedding
- Zara Crane-Davies, 41, died when Jeep she was driving overturned on Crete
- It can now be revealed that she was jailed for murder in 2003 before completely turning her life around to become an award-winning mentor
- Zara also took part in Britain’s first lesbian prison wedding when she married Joanne Davies, a convicted drug dealer, at Send Prison, Surrey, in 2010
- Zara died Monday alongside 18-year-old Luke Hall, while fellow mentor Louise Waddington, 39, was critically injured. A second 18-year-old escaped unharmed
A Briton who died in a car crash on the Greek island of Crete has been revealed as a murderer who stabbed her neighbour to death for ‘disrespecting’ her before turning her life around to become an award-winning mentor.
Zara Crane-Davies, 41, also took part in the first lesbian prison wedding in Britain in 2010 when she tied the knot with Joanne Davies, who was in jail for drug dealing.
Upon her release, Zara became head of the Manchester office of Working Chance, a recruitment agency that helps former female convicts find work, for which she won a Mentor of the Year award from Northern Power Women in 2018.
She was killed around 6am Monday alongside 18-year-old Luke Hall when the Kia that Zara was driving overturned near the party resort of Malia.
Zara Crane-Davies, 41, died in a car crash in Crete on Monday. She was jailed for murder in 2003 after she stabbed a neighbour to death, then took part in Britain’s first lesbian prison wedding in 2010 when she married Joanne Davies, who was serving time for drug dealing
After her release, thought to be some time around 2012, Zara went to work for Working Chance, which helps female convicts find jobs (pictured left, with wife Jo right)
In 2018 Zara won Mentor of the Year at the Northern Power Women awards in recognition of her work, then left Working Chance to found her own consultancy called SocialInvestor
Moments before the crash CCTV captured Luke standing up in the back of the soft-top vehicle while it was stationary at a traffic light, the Daily Mirror reports.
Louise Waddington, 39, a fellow mentor who knew Zara through their work, was critically injured in the crash and is still in hospital.
Another 18-year-old Briton, who was the only one wearing a seat belt – according to the Mirror – escaped uninjured and flagged down help.
The foursome were headed home from a night out in Malia when the crash happened. It was not immediately clear how Zara and Ms Waddington knew Mr Hall and the other injured Briton.
Zara lived an extraordinary life that saw her mother leave home when she was 13 and her father walk out two years later, leaving her in the care of a cousin.
She got into her first serious trouble with the law in 1997 when she was jailed for three years for robbery, before she stabbed her neighbour to death in 2003.
Zara – who was then going under the name Sara Crane – attacked David Thompson on the doorstep of his home in Purley, South London, after he ‘disrespected’ her by failing to say ‘hello’, local reports said at the time.
Mr Thompson, 37, died after being stabbed in the heart with a 10-inch knife. Zara had only moved into the flat next to him two weeks earlier.
The mother-of-two pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a minimum of 12 years.
While locked up in Send Prison, Surrey, she met and fell in love with Joanne Davies, who was serving a two-and-a-half year term for intent to supply drugs.
The pair married in a secret 2010 ceremony when they were both aged 31, wearing plain clothes after being given permission by the jail governor, the Sutton and Croydon Guardian reported.
They were allowed two hours of ‘association time’ every night.
Luke Hall, 18, and apprentice joiner from Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, died on Monday morning in a car crash on the Greek island of Crete
Before he left for the trip – the first without his parents – mother Anne messaged to say ‘please stay safe and come back in one piece’
According to Zara’s LinkedIn profile, she took a five-year course in politics and social sciences while in prison, and it appears she was released some time around 2012.
Upon her release, she began a job with Working Chance, a recruitment agency that helps female convicts rejoin the workforce.
She first went to Manchester to head up their office there, then worked as a recruitment manager in their London office between 2013 and 2016, LinkedIn shows.
In 2018, she was awarded Mentor of the Year by Northern Power Women, a Teesside University initiative meant to celebrate the success of women working in the North, for her work at Working Chance.
She left the company the same year to found her own consultancy – SocialInvestor – which aims to ‘support and accelerate people who are socially excluded into aspirational, sustained employment.’
Zara also took part in the 2018 Mentor-a-Thon for another group called Flourish, where Ms Waddington worked as a mentee.
It is likely the pair knew each other through their work for this non-profit, which aims to ‘inspire women change-makers’.
In 2019, Zara became the Chief Operating Officer of the Resume Foundation, a network that links up non-profit organisations helping marginalised people back into work, with employers looking for staff.
The rented Jeep 4×4 was driving near the party town of Malia around 6am Monday when it hit a stationary motorbike, clipped a kerb, and rolled into a field (file image)
Driver Zara Crane Davis, 41, is also thought to have died at the scene while 39-year-old Louise Waddington, who was riding in the back with Luke, is now fighting for life in hospital
Paying tribute to Zara, Working Chance wrote: ‘We are deeply saddened to learn of the death on holiday in Crete of our former colleague Zara Crane-Davies.
‘Our thoughts are with her friends and family.’
Kayla Torkington, who is involved with the Flourish initiative, described Zara as ‘unforgettable’ and added: ‘We really are dumbfounded at this awful tragedy and terrible loss.’
A statement from Resume Foundation said: ‘Zara’s motivation to help anyone in need and her will to beat life was astounding.
‘She has inspired many around us and will continue to do so with her legacies. Zara will be sadly missed by us and the whole Third Sector.
‘She now lives on in a better place. Our thoughts go out to her family, friends and loved ones.’
Elsewhere, Luke’s mother Anne flew to Crete along with his grandmother in order to bring his body home, The Sun reports.
Posting on Facebook as Luke headed off for the holiday – the first without his parents or twin brother Jacob – she wrote: ‘Have an amazing time in Malia. Please stay safe and come home in one piece.’
Father Tom, from Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, fought back tears as he told how Luke was on the second week of a lad’s holiday with three friends who were not with him when the crash happened.
He described Luke as ‘the best ever’ and added: ‘His twin Jacob is lost, he’s broken, he’s sobbing constantly.’
Luke’s friends are understood to have flown home following the crash.
Family and loved ones paid tribute to Luke on social media. Cousin Jesse Hall wrote: ‘Rest well brother, will never forget the memories and the laughs we had. Allways remember you.’
A Foreign Office spokesman said: ‘We are supporting the families of three British people involved in a car accident in Crete, and are in contact with local authorities.’