An 82-year-old grandfather was jailed on Wednesday for shooting a man who was attempting to steal electricity cables from his house last June.

He was sentenced at the Limassol criminal court to two and a half years behind bars after having been convicted of intending to cause serious bodily harm and carrying and using a firearm.

The man’s relatives burst into tears when the sentence was read out, as they had hoped that he may have received a suspended sentence for his crime. However, the court concluded that a suspended sentence “would not be justified.”

He had initially faced charges of attempted murder but was eventually acquitted of that charge with the approval of the attorney-general. Subsequent to that, he plead guilty to the charges for which he was sentenced.

The court considered various mitigating factors, including the defendant’s “immediate admission” and cooperation with the authorities, the remorse he had shown, and his otherwise clean criminal record.

The man’s advanced age and the health problems he faced were also considered as mitigating factors.

However, the court decision noted that despite the mitigating factors, it “must not send the wrong message to would-be offenders,” and that a more lenient sentence “would not serve the needs of the law.”

The shooting had taken place in the Limassol village of Alassa last June. The 82-year-old exited his house during a power outage to check the main supply panel and took a hunting rifle and a cartridge with him for protection.

He then realised that someone else was on his property and winding an electric wire. He then approached the perpetrator and shouted at him, before firing a shot, which hit him in the back.

The thief was hospitalised and intubated.