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Crime Cyprus

Supreme court rejects sentence reduction for man who shot son

Man's sentence remains at 15 years in jail

The supreme court on Wednesday rejected a second appeal for a sentence reduction by a 74-year-old man who is behind bars for killing his 19-year-old son in 2015.

Timoleon Themistocleous had asked the supreme court to reduce his prison sentence back to 10 years after it was raised to 15 years in January 2019, following an appeal from the attorney-general’s office that the original 10-year sentence was “manifestly inadequate”.

As a result, Themistocleous had five years added to his sentence, which will now be maintained after Wednesday’s failed second appeal to reduce it back to ten years.

The argument between the 74-year-old father and his son Odysseas ensued when the son, who was a conscript, asked to use the car because he was due to report to his unit.

His father refused and the two argued. The father went into the house and returned with the gun which he used to shot his son at point-blank range in the abdomen.

Following the shooting, the man’s older son, Alexandros, tried to disarm him and after grabbing the weapon from his father hit him on the head with it.

A scuffle followed which left both the father and the 21-year-old needing medical treatment.

Themistocleous had always denied killing his son and filed his first appeal in 2015 claiming that he was only trying to separate the two brothers who were fighting when the gun went off.

The court, however, found these claims to be baseless.

He also unsuccessfully sought damages and compensation from the Republic, suing the state for “inhumane treatment” and “violation of right to life and physical integrity”.

On Wednesday, during the man’s appeal, public prosecutor Andreas Aristides asked the supreme court to reject his claims, stating that “the acceptance of a convicted person’s request would undermine the basic principles of the law and the legal outcome of a case.”
The judge who presided over the case stated on Wednesday that “the appeal failed because the accused failed to provide any evidence to overturn the initial sentence.”

He also told the man that he could have got a lighter sentence had he confessed to the crime, but, since the start of the trial, Themistocleous had always insisted he was innocent, which was eventually proved to be false.

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