Rape case suspect caught and remanded

A 30-YEAR-OLD man suspected of the abduction and rape of a 37-year-old woman in Nicosia last week was remanded for eight days yesterday, police said.

Varnavas Cleovoulou, from Mosphiloti in Larnaca, is facing charges of rape, abduction, breaking and entering and theft.

He allegedly broke into the Strovolos home of a 37-year-old mother of two through her bedroom window and attempted to rape her.

When the woman’s cries woke up her two children and the house maid, the man threw a blanket over the victim’s naked body, bundled her into his car and drove her to the Kotsiatis rubbish dump, where he is said to have raped and beaten her, police said.

He is then thought to have driven her home and left her outside her house. The attack left the woman in a state of shock, with State Pathologist Eleni Antoniou confirming she had been brutally raped, and bore bite marks and bruises all over her body.

Police linked the attack with Cleovoulou, who had been released from prison a few days earlier where he was being held in custody after failing to appear in court in connection with a series of break-ins.

Deputy Police Chief Soteris Charalambous told a news conference yesterday the suspect was suffering from psychological problems and withdrawal symptoms from the use of narcotics.
“The suspect drove the victim back to her house, then broke into another house next to the victim’s from which he stole the sum of £1,500,” he said.

“He then drove the stolen car to Paliometocho and took a taxi to Limassol where he stole another car, broke into a house and stole a military issue rifle.”

“The suspect abandoned the stolen car, stole a pick-up truck and drove back to Nicosia,” Charalambous said.

He said a massive manhunt with the use of helicopters was launched following information that the suspect had arrived in Nicosia at around 8pm on Friday night.

“The suspect’s mental condition, the fact that he was under the influence of narcotics, and the possibility that he was armed were taken into consideration,” Charalambous said.
“But thankfully, the suspect called a colleague and asked him to intervene so that he could give himself up because he feared for his life.”

“He was finally arrested at around 3am yesterday morning in Lakatamia and taken to Paphos Gate police station for interrogation.”Charalambous said that during the interrogation the suspect admitted stealing the rifle, the three cars and breaking into the woman’s house. He also admitted having sex with the woman but insisted it was consensual.

“His claim that the woman gave her consent to sexual intercourse is ridiculous,” Charalambous charged. “He left a huge number of clues wherever he went, but refused to give a blood sample for DNA examination.”

Charalambous also launched a scathing attack on the lack of a parole system on the island and accused the Nicosia Prisons of spawning criminals instead of rehabilitating them.

He said nothing could be done by the police once the suspect had been released from prison, because he was a free citizen and could go wherever he wanted.

“Once you are out of jail, you are expected to be rehabilitated,” he said. “You are a free citizen and have freedom of movement, but unfortunately there is no parole or rehabilitation system in our prisons so we have no control.

“Released prisoners do not have to present themselves to a parole officer so therefore he could do whatever he wanted within the law.”