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Last Updated: Friday, 23 February 2007, 13:06 GMT
Man jailed for Cyprus crash death
Christos Papiris
Christos Papiris, 17, died in the collision
An Essex man has been jailed in Cyprus for 15 years for killing a teenager.

Christos Papiris, 17, died in August 2006 when his moped was hit by a car between Ayia Napa and Protaras.

Julian Harrington, 39, of Witham, had initially pleaded not guilty but later admitted manslaughter during a hearing at the court in Larnaca.

Prosecutors had said during Harrington's trial that the moped was "repeatedly struck" by a rented Opel car driven by Harrington.

James Goodwin, 22, from Essex, was earlier given a suspended sentence after admitting a charge of conspiracy following the commission of a crime.

Luke Atkinson, 22, and Michael Binnington, 21, Harrington's nephews and both from Essex, were cleared of manslaughter after a trial.

'Local antagonism'

The court in Larnaca said the prosecution had failed to prove a common purpose between the two and Harrington to harm the motorcyclists.

Marios Demetriou, 18, who was Christos Papiris' pillion, was also seriously injured in the crash.

The incident was said to have been sparked following a fight outside a disco in Protaras.

Fair Trials Abroad said it was disappointed by the sentence and would be supporting an appeal by Harrington.

The lawyer assisting him, Saima Hirji, said: "We are dismayed at this sentence, which we fear is more about appeasing local antagonism towards the accused than properly reflecting the circumstances of the case.

"This was a tragic accident, and Mr Harrington's guilt should have been mitigated by the fact that neither the moped driver nor his passenger had been wearing helmets, which would have greatly reduced their injuries.

"Mr Harrington only pleaded guilty to ensure his nephews - who were both passengers in the car - would be acquitted."


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