Cyprus Mail

Father sentenced to ten years for fatally shooting son (Updated)

A police investigator at the scene of the crime in Paramytha

The Limassol criminal court sentenced 71-year-old Timoleon Themistocleous to ten years in prison on Wednesday after he was found guilty in March of killing his 20-year-old son in October 2015 in Paramytha, Limassol.

The sentence runs from the time of his arrest in January 2016.

His older son, Alexandros, and his ex-wife said they were disappointed with the sentence, saying he got off too lightly. The accused will also be able to file an appeal.

The court, announcing the sentence, described Themistocleous as a “hard and ruthless person” because he had tried to implicate his older son and his ex-wife in the crime. He would have shot the victim twice if his older son had not interfered and taken the gun from him, the court said, indicating that he was determined to kill his victim.

“His removal from society for a long time is imperative,” said the ruling.

At the same time, the court rejected the defence’s view that Themistocleous was denied the right to trial and ruled there had been no delay in dealing with the case.

It was also pointed out that the 71-year-old never admitted his guilt, which would have been in his favour.

As mitigating factors the court took into account the clear criminal record of the convicted man, his advanced age and the fact that he had suffered from health problems after he was hit on the head by his older son in his attempt to wrestle the weapon from his father.

The 71-year-old had shot and killed his son, Odysseas, with a hunting shotgun during a heated argument over the use of the family car on October 14, 2015.

The argument started when Odysseas, who was a conscript, asked to take the car because he was going to be late reporting back to his unit. His father refused.

Themistocleous went into the house and returned with the gun shouting: “You will not do whatever you want. I will shoot you.”

When reaching its decision on March 14, the court referred to the different versions given by the 71-year-old during his trial in his defence’s attempt to challenge the credibility of the main witness, the eldest son of the family, Alexandros, 24.

Among others, the 71-year-old had claimed that he had been assaulted for no apparent reason by his eldest son and did not remember anything, and that he had received a blow to the head as he walked into the courtyard of the house where he saw two unfamiliar faces in the yard.

One of the versions by the defence was that the father had rushed to stop the two brothers’ quarrel, resulting in the gun going off and Odysseas dying. This version however, the court said, was not even given by the accused himself.

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