Loizos Tzionis was handed down two consecutive life sentences on Wednesday for murdering a Nicosia school teacher and his wife during a frenzied attack at their home in Strovolos in April 2018.
The Nicosia Criminal Court handed down the sentence hours after Tzionis took the court, the prosecution and his own lawyer by surprise and changed his plea to guilty.
Earlier on Wednesday, the court sentenced Lefteris Solomou to six years in jail for the lesser charges of robbery and conspiracy. Tzionis’ ex girl friend Sarah Siams who pleaded guilty to conspiracy and appeared as a prosecution witness is currently serving a four year jail sentence.
Yiorgos Hadjigeorgiou and his wife Dina Sergiou were found dead with multiple stab wounds — the former in the living room and the latter in the bedroom in April 2018.
Their 16 year old son had been locked in a cupboard but managed to free himself and alert the neighbours after the murders.
Premeditated murder carries an automatic life sentence in Cyprus.
In passing down its sentence, the court said that it had decided to hand down consecutive rather than concurrent life sentences because of the brutal way the two innocent victims had been killed in their own homes.
The court had heard testimony from Siams earlier this month that Tzionis believed there was money in the victims’ house.
Four people were charged with a number of offences, including premeditated murder, robbery and conspiracy,
Tzionis had initially pleaded guilty, then changed his plea to innocent, then admitted lesser charges and finally today reversed his position yet again, admitting to all the charges and apologising to the families of the victims and to his own family, as well as the three other defendants.
The fourth defendant Marios Hadjixenophontos has pleaded not guilty to all the charges. Tzionis told the court on Wednesday that he had threatened the other three to do things they did not want to do because he was under the influence of cocaine.
He also said he had lied to Hadjixenophontos to persuade him to come to the house with him.