A 27-year-old man jailed for 15 years for being the instigator of a burglary that led to the death of a Moldovan woman, 36, in Larnaca in 2015, had given the perpetrators of the act clear instructions to beat and tie the victim if necessary, the criminal court said on Tuesday.
Panayiotis Alexandrou had been found guilty of manslaughter, conspiracy to commit a crime, and burglary and theft, in the death of Daniella Rosca.
Rosca was found dead in her flat in the Mackenzie area on November 1, 2015.
The defendant has been identified as the instigator of an attack by two Bulgarian men that led to her death — Plamen Pelov, 32, and Daniel Slavchev, 30, had pleaded guilty and jailed for 13 and 10 years respectively. Pelov was the main prosecution witness.
Alexandrou admitted to having been romantically involved with Rosca since August 2014, despite being engaged at the time, but said he broke off the illicit affair 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.
“He was the person who not only encouraged the former defendants … to burgle the victim’s flat and steal, but he also urged them, giving clear instructions, to grab, beat, and tie the victim if necessary to achieve their illegal objective,” the court said.
It added that Pelov and Slavchev “grabbed, beat, and tied the victim, as per the defendant’s instructions, resulting in her death, as a consequence of severe blows and being bound, rendering her unable to react.”
The court said there was a strong element of indifference on behalf of the defendant about the life of the victim, who was left defenceless in the hands of two men.
The defendant’s criminal behaviour was no different than that of the other two and “consequently there is no justification for a different sentence.”
His fiancée broke into tears on hearing the sentence while his mother censured prosecutor Thanasis Papanicolaou. His defence said it was a ridiculous decision.
Alexandrou’s sentence starts from June 6, 2016, the day he was detained.