Cypriot father and son hotel owners have been jailed over the death of a British teenager who drowned in their ‘filthy’ hotel pool after falling in following a late-night drinking session.
Savvakis Georgiou Alexandrou, 18, was found floating in the pool several hours after slipping and drowning, following an alcohol-fuelled night of partying in Ayia Napa.
Even though there were apparently more than a dozen people around the pool, nobody noticed what had happened to him until a female swimmer tripped over his body at the bottom of the rubbish-filled pool on the morning of 18th August 2014.
The pool was described as being green from algae and littered with rubbish that included syringes, condoms and cigarette butts.
The owners of the hotel, a father and son aged 63 and 33 at the time, have been jailed for four and three months respectively while the company they ran was also fined €2,000 (£1,680), according to local media.
Alexandrou was a promising footballer, on the books of League Two football club Stevenage FC at the time of his death.
His step sister, youth worker Monica Michael, 24, appeared on talent show X Factor a week after he died.
She spoke of her heartache after wowing judges on the show six years ago. ‘It’s hard to believe that he was at my audition and now he is no longer here,’ she said.
‘Sav was a huge, huge fan of The X factor and he always wanted to see the show and how it was run and I was happy that he got to witness my audition before he died.
‘It was really hard to watch the show on Saturday without him and I just hope that he is at peace in heaven.’
Alexandrou had travelled to the party hotspot of Ayia Napa with his cousin after they had visited their grandparents in nearby Protaras which was just a few miles away.
He had actually been booked into another hotel but then moved to a hotel that was part of the same group, the 194 room Kalypso, where he drowned.
His girlfriend Mercedes Cole wrote a touching tribute to him after his body was flown back home saying: ‘All I am able to say is I had the world’s best boyfriend and would do absolutely anything to be back in his arms MY beautiful angel.’
An autopsy confirmed that the victim had drowned and that alcohol use was a contributing factor.
The court said: ‘He had previously consumed a large quantity of alcohol, something which made his death quiet and imperceptible to others at the venue.’
The court added that signs around the complex warning of the risk of drinking were an ‘oxymoron as the people the signs were addressing had a diminished perception of the risk because of the consumption of alcohol.’
Prosecutors also likened the signs to a ‘fig leaf’ and not a proper safety measure.
The courts said: ‘[The] use of the pool in the early morning hours was not only open to people who had previously consumed alcohol, but was effectively encouraged, from what was shown, as part of a package combining alcohol consumption and the pool’s operation.’
According to local media, the revellers ended up in the swimming pool in the early hours of the morning after leaving the town’s nightclubs and hot spots.
However, although the facility’s poolside bar was open and selling alcohol to guests, no lifeguards were on duty, according to reports.
The court said: ‘The defendants had created a dangerous situation due to the operation of a pool that was not tended by a lifeguard, in combination with the operation of an adjacent bar serving alcoholic drinks without the necessary safeguards for the participants.’
The court ruled that these oversights caused the death of the 18-year-old Brit.