FATHER AND son Christoforos and Marios Karayannas were yesterday found guilty of assaulting their client Conor O’Dwyer in 2006. The case, tried in the Famagusta district court, relates to the first assault on Conor by the developers from whom he had bought a villa.
The injuries sustained during this assault were not serious. Conor was assaulted again in 2008 by Karayannas and ended up in hospital for six days with serious injuries. The civil case for this assault is still pending.
Both father and son were found guilty of the second assault by the Criminal Court of Famagusta last year and although the judge pronounced a 10-month prison sentence, the sentence was suspended. The Attorney General is appealing against the suspension of the sentence and the decision issued by the judge, on the grounds that they were found guilty of actual bodily harm and not grievous bodily harm.
In court yesterday, the judge noted that both defendants are liable for the injuries that they caused to O’Dwyer and the damage to his video camera. The judge did not accept the argument that the defendants tried to use reasonable force to prevent the plaintiff from entering their property. The plaintiff was in a public place and was not trespassing. According to the judge, the two defendants tried to stop O’Dwyer from leaving the place. The judge said the defendants forcefully grabbed the plaintiff’s mobile, preventing him from calling his lawyer and then grabbed his video camera. They pushed him around while he was trying to get into his car, injuring him and they broke his camera. The Court ordered the defendants to pay the plaintiff total damages of €1,739 plus interest and legal fees.
During the trial the defendants claimed that the incidents were triggered by O’Dwyer’s behaviour. They said he was ruining their reputation on the internet because of a dispute with them over a property transaction. The judge dismissed this, saying “…any disputes among people who enter into commercial transactions are not resolved by the use of force or by causing fear or through verbal abuse.”
January 26, 2011 Author: Elias Hazou
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