The two boys aged 15 and 13 who allegedly hit a 13-year-old private school student in Limassol with a hammer on Monday fracturing his skull will appear in a closed court session in coming days.
The 15-year-old is now under observation at Makarios hospital in Nicosia, in a wing specialised in dealing with adolescents with serious psychological disorders, whereas the 13-year-old, who actually dealt the blow, is back at his home under the supervision of social welfare service officers.
On Monday, both boys were interrogated at the Limassol crime investigation department (CID) in the presence of social welfare service officers and a child psychologist.
The police confirmed the motive for the attack was caused by a dispute over an online game and, according to the head of the Limassol CID Lefteris Kyriacou, it seems that the two boys’ alleged intention was to kill the victim, not just injure him.
Kyriacou also said that police officers who went to the scene of the crime confiscated the hammer but also a bag they found close by, which they said belonged to the two boys and which contained five kitchen knives.
The blow to the victim’s head was so hard that he had to be taken to Makarios hospital in Nicosia for further examinations after it was revealed at the Limassol general hospital that he suffered a skull fracture.
He is now out of danger but remains under observation.
The Commissioner for Children’s Rights Despo Michaelidou also commented on the matter, urging the public not to jump to conclusions.
“We must not forget that we are talking about children and we must treat them as such, taking into account their level of maturity and their needs,” she told Cyprus Mail.
She claimed the police took the right decision not to arrest the 15-year-old but to take him to the special wing of Makarios hospital.
“The root of the problem must be identified with the help of a child psychologist. Only that way similar further incidents can be avoided and both children can receive the proper help they need.”
Michaelidou said the welfare service was currently checking family situation of the two alleged perpetrators and their living conditions.
“The boys have clearly shown signs of anti-social behaviour, which should have been addressed earlier, either by their families or by their teachers,” she said.
Finally, she said video games were not to blame for what happened.
“Video games are not the direct reason for the attack, they are just one of the factors that contributed to the manifestation of violent behaviour. We cannot demonise video games. However, parents need to understand that they have the responsibility of monitoring their children’s time on the internet,” she added.