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28 November, 2021
 
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Three found guilty in bullied teen’s death in Larnaca

Binge drinking under peer pressure back in the spotlight, three guilty, one acquitted on reckless homicide

Newsroom

Three out of four teens charged with involuntary manslaughter have been found guilty in connection with the death of Panayiotis, a bullied teen who died after binge drinking at a Saturday night birthday party.

(Click here for an update to the story)

According to local media, a criminal court in Larnaca found three defendants, who were aged 17 and 18 at the time, guilty of reckless homicide in the death of 16-year-old Panayiotis Stefanis fromTroulloi, Larnaca district.

It was later revealed that Panayiotis had been bullied into binge drinking but police were unsure how to handle the case, as bullying was not considered a criminal offence

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.

The case was initially reported in the media as a teenage drinking tragedy but the public was shocked after a group of parents came forward claiming there was bulling involved.

It was later revealed that Panayiotis had been bullied into binge drinking but police were unsure how to handle the case.

While laws against alcohol consumption under the legal age make it illegal for anyone to supply alcohol to minors, bullying was not considered a criminal offence in the Republic of Cyprus.

Not many details were made known during or after the trial that took place behind closed doors in Larnaca’s courthouse.

But media sources said the four former minors -now adults aged 19 and 20 and all from the same district - were charged as adults from the beginning.

A guilty verdict for reckless actions that cause a fatality was applied to a 20-year-old from Oroklini, a 19-year-old from Larnaca, and another teen from Livadia also aged 19.

Another 20-year-old from Oroklini was acquitted while a hearing on mitigating circumstances has been scheduled for November 3.

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