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Cyprus

Institutionalised teen who killed his sister allowed home

The Athalassa psychiatric hospital

The 14-year-old boy who last year stabbed to death his nine-year-old sister in their Larnaca house, was sent back home after a year at the Athalassa psychiatric hospital with round-the-clock care and support from specialists, it was announced on Friday.

The boy, who is suffering from psychological problems, was admitted to the hospital last November right after the incident.

The children’s father had accused state services at the time of deliberately diagnosing his son with a mild form of mental illness, despite his warning that the boy had serious issues and could not be left unattended. He said he believed this was to spare the state an additional amount of money per month.

The boy returned to his home on Thursday on court orders after a request for the renewal of an order for his obligatory hospitalisation at the Athalassa psychiatric hospital was turned down.

The boy is not criminally responsible for his actions since the incident took place last year when he was 13. The age of criminal responsibility is 14 and over.

The labour and health ministers said in a joint statement on Friday that if the father agrees to the care plan they have prepared for his son, it would be launched right away.

The support action plan for the minor concerns round-the-clock care by specially trained psychiatric nurses and carers, while he will be regularly visited by a child psychiatrist, social workers and teachers.

“The minor will also be provided with an education programme, treatment, social and psycho-educational services and monthly monitoring by a child psychiatrist,” the ministers said.

The support action plan will be assessed on a monthly basis so that it can be adjusted according to the boy’s needs, the announcement said.

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