FATHER and son Christoforos and Marios Karayiannas were found guilty today in a civil action which was filed in the District Court of Famagusta by Conor O’Dwyer with regard to his first assault case which took place back in 2006.
The judge accepted as true all of the evidence given before the court by Mr O’Dwyer and the other witnesses.
District Court Judge, G. Philippou concluded that both of the defendants assaulted Conor and are liable for the injuries that they caused to him and the damage to his video camera.
They used violence against him without any reason. The judge did not accept that the defendants tried to use reasonable force in order to prevent the Plaintiff from entering their property. The judge stated that he accepted the evidence given by the Plaintiff that he had been in a public place, not trespassing, after having been invited there by his friends who live in that residential block of houses.
The defendant tried to prevent the Plaintiff, by using force, from leaving the place despite the fact that the Plaintiff was trying to leave peacefully.
The judge said that the defendants forcefully grabbed the Plaintiff’s mobile, preventing him from calling his lawyer and then grabbed his video camera while at the same time, they were preventing him from going away. They pushed him around while he was trying to get into his car, injuring him and they broke his camera.
Both defendants were acting together and encouraging each other to assault Conor. The judge found that the defendants were lying in court and gave conflicting evidence. In many parts of his evidence, Marios Karayiannas gave different evidence than that which he had given in a previous affidavit.
The Court ordered the Defendant to pay the Plaintiff total damages of 1,739.20 Euros plus interest and legal fees.
This is the first time that Conor was assaulted by the developers from whom he had bought his house. The injuries sustained during this assault were not very serious but Conor was assaulted again in 2008 by Karayiannas and ended up in hospital for 6 days with serious injuries. The civil case for this assault is still pending.
Both father and son were found guilty of this assault by the Criminal Court of Famagusta last year and although the judge imposed 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, i.e. to the effect that they were found guilty of actual bodily harm, not grievous bodily harm.
The Defendants tried to claim, via their lawyer, that the incidents had been triggered by the behaviour of the accused, who was ruining their reputation through the Internet because he had a dispute with them over the selling a house to him. Conor gave them 66,000 Cyprus pounds for a house that they never gave him and they also kept his money.
The judge stated without any disrespect to the defendants’ lawyer that the peaceful protest by the Plaintiff and the publication of his story on the Internet were irrelevant to the matter of the assault – “…any disputes among people who are entering into commercial transactions are not solved by the use of force or by causing fear or through verbal abuse.”
The judge also pointed out that despite the intensive and not so nice way that he was cross-examined by the lawyer for the defence, Conor remained calm throughout the whole procedure and he was answering in a simple way.
This whole dispute arose five years ago when Conor O’Dwyer and his family decided to live the dream and move to a house that they bought in Frenaros, Cyprus. The dream turned into a complete nightmare for the couple and their family when they paid a large deposit of 66,000 Cyprus pounds to the developer, only to be told subsequently that their dream home has been resold to another couple despite the fact that they were registered as the beneficial owners of the property at the Land Registry.
(The Attorney General will appeal a court decision and the sentence handed down in the second assault case against Christoforos and Marios Karayiannas that took place in 2008.)