Cyprus Mail

Attorney general appeals light sentence for fatal crash (updated)

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The attorney general on Tuesday said he will appeal a 12-month sentence imposed on the hit-and-run driver who killed a Swedish mother in a fatal Ayia Napa crash earlier this summer.

The office of Attorney-General George Savvides tweeted that he has lodged an appeal against the court’s decision after having studied the sentence and deeming it insufficient.

The decision comes just days after the family decried the sentence as “a huge insult”, in a statement issued through their lawyers on Saturday.

Speaking to the Cyprus Mail on Tuesday, the family’s lawyer Alexandros Alexandrou said: “On behalf of the family and the law firm, we respect the decision and thank the attorney-general’s office of Cyprus for taking into account everything put forth by us, the family and the public’s opinion on the matter and we look forward to the proper administration of justice.”

The case is centred on the fatal crash which occurred on May 5. Christina Camilla Palmdahl – aged 46 – had left her five-year-old daughter in the care of hotel staff so that she could cross the road and visit the nearby supermarket – only to be hit by the rental buggy at the pedestrian crossing soon after.

Police previously stated that the driver failed to stop at a pedestrian crossing where the woman was attempting to cross. “A young man driving the rental buggy overtook a stopped car, and hit the woman,” they said.

The 26-year-old British tourist, named as Manraj Singh Sidhu, was found guilty of carrying out a dangerous and reckless act which resulted in the death of a person, reckless and dangerous driving, and abandoning the scene of a fatal crash, among other charges. His driving license was also suspended for 18 months.

He had fled the scene on foot but was tracked down by police a few hours later. An alcotest several hours after the incident found a reading of 44μg, more than four times over the legal limit of 9μg, and a drugs test returned positive for cannabis.

Alexandrou told the Cyprus Mail on Saturday that the 26-year-old perpetrator, who was sentenced last Monday, could be out of prison in just eight months, as he has already been held for two months and sentences are also reduced by 20 per cent for good behaviour.

The 26-year-old’s legal team was not immediately available for comment.

Britain’s Daily Mail spoke last week to Pamdhal’s husband, Jonas, who has expressed his shock and dismay at the seemingly lenient sentencing.

“How can this happen? How can the judge only give one year? It seems to me they have rushed through this case and no matter he pleaded guilty. What about our family?” Jonas told the Daily Mail.

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