A 27-year-old man accused of being the instigator of a burglary that led to the death of a Moldovan woman, 36, in Larnaca in 2015 has been found guilty on charges of manslaughter, conspiracy to commit a crime, burglary and theft.
The court said on Monday that the prosecution had been able to prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt and set May 31 for mitigation by the defence lawyers for Panayiotis Alexandrou who two months ago claimed his innocence.
Daniela Rosca was found dead in her flat in the Mackenzie area on November 1, 2015.
The court found Alexandrou to be an accomplice in Rosca’s murder, as he was the instigator of the offences. He had been identified as behind the attack that led to Rosca’s death by two Bulgarian men — Plamen Pelov, 32, and Daniel Slavchev, 30 – who have pleaded guilty and jailed for 13 and 10 years respectively. Pelov was the main prosecution witness.
In its decision, the court stressed that Alexandrou, not only prompted Pelov and Slavchev to break into the victim’s apartment and steal, but by also giving “explicit and clear instructions, urged them to grab, hit, and tie the victim if needed to achieve their unlawful purpose”.
Alexandrou admitted to having been romantically involved with Rosca since August 2014, despite being engaged at the time, but said he broke off the affair in mid-2015. Soon after the break-up, the safe that Alexandrou’s parents kept in their home, containing €25,000 in cash, was stolen. He believed the break-up and the break-in were linked.
The two Bulgarians broke into the woman’s apartment on the night of October 31, to try and take back the €25,000 she allegedly stole from Alexandrou.
One of the men accessed the 37-year-old’s flat from the roof, entering through the bathroom window. As soon as Rosca heard the noise, she opened the front door and started shouting.
He then ran to the door and punched Rosca. She fell in the stairwell. He then hoisted her over his shoulder, went into the apartment and when she resisted, threw her down. She hit her head on the coffee table and died.
Court said that it took into consideration that Alexandrou was caught lying as to his involvement in the case, and the defence attempts to discredit Pelov.
Alexandrou, the court said, deliberately lied.
It added that it believes Pelov’s account of what had happened as to the incident to be true. “We have no doubt that what he said in the court fully corresponded to the truth,” the court said.