Cyprus Mail

Pub owner sentenced to nine years for shooting at wife

Police during the Oroklini stand off in January 2015

By Constantinos Psillides

FORTY-three year old Sergios Sergiou from Larnaca was sentenced to nine years in prison on Monday, after he was found guilty for attempting to murder his estranged wife, 41-year old Moldavian Margarita Povetkina.

On January 26, the 43-year old locked himself in his Oroklini bar after shooting his wife, resulting in a 30-hour stand-off with the police. The two had earlier argued over child support. Sergiou cornered his wife in his pub and fired at her. She was injured in the shoulder and abdomen, but managed to escape.

The woman went to the Oroklini police station to report the incident, while the suspect locked himself in the pub and threatened to commit suicide.

The two were married and had a 15-month-old son, but split early last year.

The couple got back together over the summer and Sergiou moved in with her.

Last August, he travelled abroad and returned in November. The marital troubles re-emerged and on January 16, 2015 the woman filed a complaint to police that she had been abused by her husband and that she made him leave.

The woman told investigators that her husband had been abusing her since 2013.

A total of five domestic disturbance reports have been filed with the Oroklini and Larnaca police stations by the woman. Povetkina said that they agreed to meet at his pub in Oroklini on January 26 to discuss child support issues.

The court heard that once she entered the pub he locked the door behind her and demanded to know whether she had had an affair. Sergiou was drunk and he was shouting. Inside the pub at the time of the incident was a cleaning lady, who was later visited by her sister and a friend.

Sergiou let the other two women in and resumed his quarrel with his estranged wife.

The woman initially refused having an affair but admitted to it eventually, police told the court.

The 43-year old threw a wooden chair at her but missed. He then chased her around the pub.

The other women tried to calm him down but Sergiou grabbed his hunting shotgun and shot at his estranged wife who hid behind a wall. Povetkina tried to escape through a sliding door when he fired again.

The other women left the pub too and headed for the Oroklini police station where they reported the incident.

The cleaning lady told police that when she came to the pub she found the 43-year old drinking.

In handing down the verdict, the court took into consideration the 43-year old’s clean record, his repentance, his struggle with alcoholism, the effects the sentence would have on his family and the fact that the two had signed a declaration of reconciliation.

The court stated in its verdict that the defendant acted “in selfish manner and with full disregard for the physical wellbeing of his wife, whom he had claimed he loved. The defendant chased the woman in his pub maniacally, using his shotgun and having superiority on both physical strength and fire power”.

The court noted that the woman “was in such state of distress, that she managed to break the lock on the door, something she wouldn’t be able to do under normal circumstances.”

“His behaviour was unacceptable, unprovoked and derogatory from every angle,” the court said.

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