A criminal court in Nicosia has sentenced a man to 10 years in prison for attacking his neighbour, an elderly woman, at nighttime in a rural village back in March.
According to local media, a panel of judges handed down a ten-year and a four-year sentence to a 27-year-old Indian national, who was convicted on charges of attempted murder and nighttime burglary in rural Nicosia.
The man was arrested on March 28 along with another suspect, aged 29, after a 79-year-old local woman called police the previous night, around 9pm, saying two males had entered her residence 20 minutes earlier and one of them tried to strangle her.
According to details heard in court, the main suspect who works on a farm in a rural Nicosia village breached an aluminum sliding window in the woman’s home.
'The times when local citizens could leave their doors open without fearing for their safety have sadly long gone and will never come back,' the judges said
Police said the woman told officers she was asleep when the main suspect came in and grabbed her by the neck and started to choke her.
She immediately resisted and struck the man with an object, according to the official complaint, with both men ending up fleeing the scene.
The object was not specified in the police report but prosecutors during trial said a knife, which did not belong to the woman, was later found on or near her bed.
Prosecutors also told the court that DNA belonging to the suspect was found on the knife and it also matched DNA found on the inside of the window.
According to additional details heard in court, the object that the elderly woman grabbed during the incident and struck her attacker was later said to have been a TV remote control.
The judges handed down a 10-year sentence saying they were convinced beyond any reasonable doubt that the defendant tried to kill his elderly neighbour. The man was also sentenced to four years for nighttime burglary.
“The times when local citizens could leave their doors open without fearing for their safety have sadly long gone and will never come back,” the judges said.
During the sentencing, the judges also said it was necessary to hand down a punishment that could serve as a deterrent to others.
The judges also said they took into consideration other factors before passing sentence, such as the defendant’s clean criminal record, his family circumstances, and the fact that the suspect pleaded guilty.
Neither a motive for attempted murder nor details about any relationship between the perpetrator and the victim were made known.
The two charges were separate but the sentences will run concurrently, according to local media.