A former hotel employee has been found guilty by the supreme court for the death of Billy the dog that died after being beaten and thrown into a cardboard crusher in 2014, the Animal Party said on Monday.
According to the party, the defendant, a Greek Cypriot man, is to remain in custody until January 23 when his sentence will be announced. According to the law, the maximum penalty for cruelty to animals is one year in jail and/or a €1,700 fine.
President of the supreme court Myron Nikolatos last November chaired the appeal hearing filed by the attorney-general after the Famagusta district court in 2015 acquitted two former hotel employees accused of killing Billy by throwing him into a Protaras hotel’s cardboard crusher in the summer of 2014.
The two men – a Greek Cypriot and a Bulgarian – were put on trial but acquitted due to lack of evidence and witnesses. Refusing to accept the court ruling, the Animal Party had sent Attorney-General Costas Clerides a memo citing a number of questions and uncertainties. Clerides filed an appeal a few days later.
The appeal hearing last November was only attended by the lawyer of the Greek Cypriot defendant, as the Bulgarian defendant had left the country.
The story of Billy – a stray black poodle – shocked the island in 2014 and made news abroad after the details of his death became public. Billy, was reportedly chased by the two Protaras hotel employees because he was on the hotel’s grounds, beaten and thrown alive into a cardboard crusher. He was rescued by people who heard his cries, but died a few days later.
A necropsy showed the cause of death was brain haemorrhage from severe trauma to the base of Billy’s skull.
Tsokkos Hotels, the company that manages the hotel, had said that the manager did not instruct the two men to treat the stray dog in the way they did, and that they took it upon themselves to dump the animal in the crusher, which they claimed was not operational. They were fired after the incident, while the manager was suspended.