A 73-year-old man who fatally shot his own son in 2015 was sentenced to 10 years on Wednesday, after he was found guilty of manslaughter charges.
The Criminal Court handed down the sentence to Timoleon Themistokleous, from Paramytha in Limassol district, who shot his son, 19-year-old soldier Odysseas Themistokleous on 14 October 2015, following a domestic dispute.
"Tough and ruthless person"
In handing down the sentence, the court took into consideration the father’s personal and family circumstances, his clean criminal record, and his advanced age. But the judge said during sentencing that Themistokleous was “a tough and ruthless person” who tried to implicate his elder son and ex-wife in the crime.
The judge also told the man that he could have got a lighter sentence had he confessed to the crime, but Themistokleous insisted throughout the trial he was not guilty.
The father would have shot his son a second time, said the judge, had it not been for the victim’s brother who intervened to grab the rifle and struck his dad on the head.
“His removal from society for a long period of time is necessary,” the judge said.
“His removal from society for a long period of time is necessary,” the judge said
According to witnesses, including the victim’s brother, Odysseas needed to drive back to his army unit and refused to hand the car keys to his father, who then run inside and grabbed a hunting rifle.
Alexandros, the 21-year-old brother of the victim, had heard the commotion during the dispute but made nothing of it as he was having his meal, realising that his brother was simply refusing to hand over the car keys. But when things escalated, he run outside and at that moment he saw his own father shooting his brother in the stomach.
Alexandros had told police after the incident that his father was furious with them.
“Do you think you can do whatever you want with me?” screamed the father, based on the brother’s recounting of the incident.
In a rather odd twist, the defendant had made an effort to blame his surviving son for the death of Odysseas, but Alexandros dismissed the claim.
“You are a liar,” he told his dad in court.
The prosecutor in the case initially brought premeditated murder charges but then they got reduced to manslaughter. Themistokleous sentence begins to count from January 2016 when he was placed into custody.