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Court orders transfer of murder suspect to mental health hospital

The Athalassa psychiatric hospital
File photo: The Athalassa unit

A pensioner who has admitted to killing his wife who was suffering from leukaemia has been transferred to Athalassa mental health hospital for compulsory treatment, police said on Wednesday.

The 74-year-old was referred to Paphos district court on Tuesday which ordered his hospitalisation at the recommendation of a psychiatrist, head of Paphos CID Michalis Nicolaou told the Cyprus News Agency.

The suspect had been treated under guard at the Paphos general hospital from where he was discharged on Tuesday afternoon, Nicolaou said.

He had earlier confessed to killing his wife, 75, on Saturday evening in their home in Tremithousa in Paphos and was remanded in custody on Sunday for eight days.

The remand hearing took place at the hospital where the 74-year-old was treated after his stomach was pumped. He told police he had consumed a large number of pills to end his life.

Nicolaou said that the 74-year-old had admitted to killing his wife who was suffering from leukaemia because he said he could not bear to see her suffer.

He said he had suffocated the woman by blocking with his hands her mouth and nose while she was sitting in an armchair, police said.

Police said that they were alerted by Interpol at around 8 pm on Saturday that the 74-year-old had sent a message to a family member abroad telling them he had killed his wife because she was suffering from an illness and that he would also end his own life.

When officers went to the house of the couple, they found the 74-year-old and the woman dead.

The couple, both from the UK, were living permanently in Tremithousa.

The body was examined by state pathologist Nicolas Charalambous who found bruises and scratches on the woman’s face.  The exact caused of her death will be determined following the results of the histopathological and toxicological tests.

Police said they were investigating premeditated murder.

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