The Larnaca criminal court in Monday said that its decision to admit a 34-year-old man accused of killing his father last April to the state psychiatric hospital after he was diagnosed with severe schizophrenia did not mean that the defendant was acquitted of his charges.
The court ruled that George Steve Ioannou, who faces the charge of manslaughter after allegedly stabbing to death his father, 62, during an argument in their home in Oroklini last April, is to be admitted to Athalassa psychiatric hospital.
The defendant was examined by two psychiatrists, one from the state mental health services and one from the private sector, after his lawyer told court that his client, who pleaded not guilty to the charge of manslaughter, was not in a position to follow the proceedings due to his mental disorder. He was also examined by a professor of psychiatry from the University of Athens.
Ioannou, the court said on Monday, was found to suffer from severe paranoid schizophrenia which is active and resilient. The doctors said that he would need treatment for the rest of his life.
Court said that the 34-year-old’s condition is not expected to change soon and it was not known when he would recover. It said that he is not in a position to follow what is going on in the court room or give instructions to his lawyer.
The fact that the defendant will be admitted to a psychiatric hospital, court said, did not mean that he was mentally ill when the offence took place or that he is being acquitted of his charges.
Investigating the incapacity of the accused to respond to the charge is limited only to his mental state at the time of the trial, in order to verify his ability to follow the proceedings, court said.
Ioannou was arrested last April after he was named by his grandmother as the person who had stabbed her son, 62.
The 82-year-old woman had called the police and told them her son was attacked with a knife in their home in Oroklini. An ambulance transferred him to Larnaca general hospital where despite efforts by doctors he succumbed to his injuries.
The two men had been reportedly watching television in the sitting room when the fight started. The court heard the reason for the fight was the suspect’s refusal to take his medication.
The 34-year-old attacked his father and threw him on the floor before stabbing him repeatedly, police had said.
He left the house on foot and was found by police a few hours later. When he saw the officers, he reportedly admitted to killing his father.
The victim had been stabbed with a knife in the chest, hip, and lower back. Police said he had seven stab wounds.