Cyprus Mail

Peyia murder trial adjourned

Paphos court

The trial of a 35-year-old man accused of deliberately hitting two Britons with his car, killing one of them in June, was adjourned in Paphos on Friday pending completion of the case file.

The Paphos criminal court adjourned for the morning of September 19 when the defendant will be formally charged. He faces charges of premeditated murder, which carries a mandatory life sentence, and attempted murder.

The 35-year-old will remain in custody until then.

Earlier, defence lawyer Savvas Matsas told the court that a number of statements were not included in the evidence, as well as the results of blood tests.

He was also expecting the result of a breathalyser given to the second Briton, copies of security camera footage, photos, and the defendant’s medical report.

A 23-year-old woman who was in the car together with the defendant during the incident was released without being charged.

The suspect allegedly deliberately hit two British tourists with his car in the early hours of June 24, leading to the death of 39-year-old Charlie Birch and the injury of his 32-year-old brother-in-law. The suspect claims it was an accident.

Prior to the incident, there had been an altercation at a bar in Coral Bay during which the two Britons reportedly tried to defend a 23-year-old woman who was being abused by the suspect. The couple then left the bar and drove off.

The two British tourists left later, but, on their way back to their apartment the 32-year-old reportedly told police he had turned around and all he could see were the lights of the vehicle coming towards them “with obvious intent” to hit them on the Peyia-Ayios Georghios road in Paphos.

The two men were taken to Paphos hospital where Birch was pronounced dead on arrival.

The 35-year-old man and the 23-year-old woman, reportedly his girlfriend, were arrested shortly afterwards after abandoning their rental vehicle which had been driven into the sea at Ayios Giorghos harbour.

Witnesses place the pair at the harbour saying both had been in the water. They then left the harbour on foot and were picked up on the road shortly afterwards by police.





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