Three young males got suspended sentences for involuntary manslaughter in the case of Panayiotis, a bullied teen who died after binge drinking at a Saturday night birthday party.
A Larnaca district court on Thursday imposed 18-month suspended sentences on three defendants aged 19 and 20 after they were found guilty last month of reckless homicide in the death of 16-year-old Panayiotis Stefanis from Troulloi.
Panayiotis died in mid-April 2019 after he collapsed outside a residence where he attended a birthday party on a Saturday night. Reports said the teen choked on his own vomit after a night of binge drinking.
'He’s soaked' the person told the crowd, while Panayiotis then collapsed and choked on his own vomit
The convicted men, who were in their late teens at the time of the incident, were said to have pushed Panayiotis to drink up beyond his limit.
“Drink, drink, drink,” they shouted according to local media, as the perpetrators sat next to Panayiotis to see how much alcohol he could take.
According to local media, the court heard behind closed doors that despite Panayiotis lifting his arms and visibly giving up -being unable to consume more alcohol- one of the perpetrators declared “knockout” while another placed a shooter in the mouth of the victim, who threw it to the ground immediately in a “tough guy” gesture.
“He’s soaked,” the person told the crowd, with Panayiotis then collapsing and choking on his own vomit.
Following his collapse outside the house, a parent and off-duty cop who was present attempted to resuscitate the boy by giving mouth to mouth but to no avail.
Police acknowledged that police officers were aware of alcohol consumption but clarified that no information of binge drinking had been relayed to authorities.
After parents spoke out about the incident, it was later revealed that binge drinking and bullying had been involved.
While laws against alcohol consumption under the legal age make it illegal for anyone to supply alcohol to minors, bullying is not considered a criminal offence in the Republic of Cyprus.
The three defendants, whose defence attorneys said their clients had a clean criminal record, apologized before the court for their reckless behavior. Their prison sentences were suspended for three years.