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Cyprus

Suspended sentence for elderly man who hired maid illegally

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AN 82-YEAR-OLD man has been handed a two month prison sentence, suspended for three years, by Paphos district court for illegally hiring a foreign maid.
The court heard that during a visit to his home in a village near Paphos where he lives with his ailing 88-year-old wife, immigration department officials found a woman from Vietnam working there.
She told them she had a visa, but it later transpired she had been in Cyprus illegally since 2011. She arrived in Cyprus on May 27, 2009 where she worked legally as a domestic worker in Limassol before leaving her job in 2011.
The defendant’s lawyer said the man has several health problems of his own, a clean criminal record and is a law abiding citizen that has apologised, admitting his guilt. He served as leader of his community co-op and church committee.
If he were put in prison, it would be difficult for him to look after his wife who is ill and needs help, the lawyer added.
Paphos district court judge Christodoulos Christodoulou said he bore the mitigating circumstances in mind but added a message needed to be sent to prevent people from hiring workers illegally.
He said he was aware that the domestic worker was not taken advantage of financially and took into consideration the man’s family circumstances and that he has recently undergone a heart surgery and has memory problems.
But handing down the sentence, Christodoulou said the offence was particularly serious and expressed his concern that the practice had become increasingly common.

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