“I’M ready to go back anytime to clear my name” - murder accused Luke Walker has told the News as he settled back in at his Brierley Hill home after two-and-a-half years in Crete.

Luke, aged 24, who had been forced to remain on the Greek holiday island since he was arrested over the death of his girlfriend Chelsea Hyndman in May 2010, flew home last week after being granted bail to return to the UK to await his court case.

Still recovering from the surprise turn of events which unfolded an hour into his trial on October 16 - Luke, who has denied the charge from the outset, said it has been “quite overwhelming” returning to the Black Country.

He said: “It’s been nice to see people and I want to thank everyone for believing in me and standing by me through this.

“But it’s not a celebration - it’s not over.

“I’m trying to take it one day at a time. I’m quite nervous being back. It’s not a situation people have to deal with - it’s quite overwhelming.

“But it’s nice to feel safe again. Since I’ve been back it’s been the best sleep I’ve had in two-and-a-half years. When I was out there I’d be up till 3am and when I did finally sleep I’d be up every hour.”

But he added: “If they asked me to go back tomorrow I’d be on the first flight out. I need to clear my name - that’s what I wanted to do. I’m ready to go back anytime.”

Speaking from the Walker family home in Gayfield Avenue, which has had to be remortgaged to pay for legal fees, Luke said he was “gutted” his long-awaited trial in Heraklion was adjourned shortly after proceedings got underway due to the absence of key prosecution witnesses.

He added: “For all this time I’d been preparing myself. It was the most difficult experience ever but I was ready to clear my name. I’m now waiting to be recalled again; my life’s on hold till my name is cleared.”

His dad Patrick, who has campaigned tirelessly to prove Luke’s innocence, added: “All we can do is try and get on with normal life for now - at least we’re together.”

The Walkers have spent around £200,000 to date on legal bills, court fees and the costs of travelling to and from Greece to see Luke - and the figure is expected to rise further.

Electrician Luke, however, plans to help his dad and brother Ryan with the family business Walkers Electrics but he is also looking into becoming a personal trainer.

Now looking forward to spending Christmas with his family - Luke said: “For the last two years it’s been just another day.”

He also plans to visit Chelsea’s grave in Castleford, Yorkshire, adding: “I’ll go and lay flowers when I’ve settled in. It’s what I’ve always wanted to do.”

Chelsea, aged 20, died of ruptured internal organs after complaining of stomach pains. Greek authorities claim she suffered a beating at the hands of Luke - but friends of the couple claim her injuries may have resulted from a fall on a girls’ night out.

Luke told the News he never suspected Chelsea’s condition was serious until medics at Crete’s Venizeleio Hospital said they were going to operate.

He said: “The thought never ever crossed my mind that she wouldn’t come out.”

His last words to his girlfriend of three years remain etched on his mind, he said.

“It’s something you don’t forget. I said ‘I love you’ and she said ‘I love you’. I said I’d wait for her and that was the last time I saw her. Then I was arrested.”

He then spent 150 days in a Greek prison before being released on bail but was prohibited from leaving the country.

Now, however, he says he’s “trying to look to the future instead of the past” and he’s confident about his case and his lawyer Georgios Pyromallis who successfully defended Enfield student Andrew Symeou from a manslaughter charge in Greece.

But he does not expect to face trial now until 2013 - sometime between April and September.

In the meantime friends and family have vowed to continue raising money to help with legal costs.

The next fundraiser will be a disco at Baggeridge Country Park on November 30 organised by colleagues of Luke’s mum Lindy.