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CrimeCyprus

17 years for man who killed aunt and uncle

A 30-year-old who pleaded guilty to manslaughter charges in relation with killing his aunt and uncle in Pitsilia in May last year was jailed by the Limasosl court for 17 years on Friday.

The defendant, Andreas Panayi, who has mental health issues, had previously pleaded not guilty to charges of premeditated murder, which carry a mandatory penalty of life in jail.

Prosecutors withdrew the premeditated murder charges and added manslaughter instead whose maximum sentence is life imprisonment.

The victims, Savvas Sophocleous, 74, and his 78-year-old wife Kyriaki, were found shot dead in a storage shed in their orchard in Ayios Ioannis in the Pitsilia area.

The post mortems showed the man was shot twice and the woman four times from close range.

The firearm used in the crime belonged to the suspect’s brother, a 33-year-old game warden.

It has been reported the suspect harboured murderous thoughts against his aunt and uncle because he had not been invited to a family christening.

The court, taking his mental health into account in mitigation, said on Friday it was clear that Panayi was a danger to society and should be taken off the streets but said that as long-term psychiatric institutionalisaton in criminal cases was not possible, there was no other option but to send him to prison.

The Nicosia central prisons is in the process of setting up a psychiatric wing and a second psychiatrist has been appointed to treat convicts with mental health issues.

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