A Limassol pensioner has been arrested after he told police on Monday that he had killed his 82-year-old wife, with authorities soon after discovering her bloody body in the garden of the couple’s house.
No motive has yet been made clear, but the 84-year-old husband admitted to striking the woman over the head with a hammer after a disagreement.
Head of Limassol CID Lefteris Kyriakou said the man went to a police station at 9:15am with officers dispatched soon after to Ayios Ioannis in the Limassol district, where the couple’s house was.
Asked about a motive, Kyriakou said “it seems the couple had an argument over personal matters and the 84-year-old hit her over the head with a hammer”.
The woman was named as Giorgoulla Charalambous.
The woman’s body was found by officers in the garden of the house, with heavy blows to the back of her head. Police suspect that the man attacked her by surprise as some blows were at the back of the head, while it appears that she was struck more than once, with some reports indicating up to five times. State pathologists are expected to determine the exact number.
The husband is due to undergo an evaluation by a state psychiatrist.
Initial reports from the neighbours appear conflicting, as some state that the couple was viewed as quiet and friendly, with no indication that such a tragedy could unfold, while others claim there had been intense shouting between them the night before.
Limassol police said they have no records of previous problems with the couple.
The woman’s murder is likely to spark fresh concerns over femicide, an issue which has been brought to the fore by House President Annita Demetriou.
Continued discussions are underway as MPs consider Demetriou’s new law proposal which seeks to introduce femicide as a discrete offence, meaning that it would not require further proof of aggravating factors.
Cyprus saw more than 40 murders of women in the last decade, according to previous statements by Justice Minister Stephie Dracou.
Between 2010 and 2016, there were 28 cases of femicide, with 75 per cent being the result of domestic violence while another 13 femicides, including two underage girls, were added to the death tally in 2019 and 2020. Most perpetrators were male Cypriots.
Even so, familial violence claims other victims, too.
Most recently, a 69-year-old father allegedly shot his 45-year-old son late last month at their home in Pyrga. The attempted murder again followed a domestic dispute, but doctors managed to stabilise the son’s health condition after surgery.