By Andria Kades
Alexis Anastasiou, 17, found guilty of manslaughter for stabbing to death British Cypriot Michael Antony Louis Mina, 22, in Larnaca last November was jailed for 17 years on Tuesday.
Anastasiou was charged with stabbing Mina outside the victim’s apartment in the Mackenzie area in the early hours of November 16, acting, he claimed, in self-defence.
He had said that Mina had arranged a meeting so they could settle their differences over the victim dating his ex girlfriend.
The killing was unprovoked and was equivalent to intentional homicide after he abandoned Mina bleeding at the Isavella Court parking lot, the court said in its 22-page ruling, stressing that a young age cannot always serve as a shield of protection when the seriousness of a case requires stricter handling.
Having previously been given a three-year suspended sentence, the system had given Anastasiou a second chance but instead he made “an unjustifiable decision, with unworthy motives, to take the life of a young person who used to be his friend and who was the true victim in the situation”, the court said.
Mina too had dreams for his future as did his family but they would never see them come true following the course of action Anastasiou took which the court found demonstrated a certain arrogance and disrespect for the rights of the victim, the ruling added.
During mitigation last week, the teen’s lawyer blamed the state for its failure to address his client’s delinquent behaviour and drug addiction. He said the responsibility lay with the system in its dealings with young offenders.
Anastasiou had shown signs of delinquency since childhood, started using addictive substances and then hard drugs. At the age of 14, the teen was incarcerated for three months at the central prisons where shared a cell with adult inmates serving long sentences, “which played a defining role in his subsequent behaviour”, the lawyer said.
His interaction with convicts serving long sentences and members of the underworld led to a further step towards the slippery slope that had already begun for him and pushed him further into the organised crime mindset, as after his release he became hardened and had formed criminal connections.
As regards the 17-year-old’s drug addiction, the court heard his parents had turned to several government services for help but without a response “since there was no infrastructure on the island with suitable treatments”.