Wales

Cyprus hit-and-run: Robert Birch murder accused in court

Charlie Birch sitting on a motorcycle Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption Robert Birch was well known in his hometown of Welshpool

A man charged with the murder of a Welsh holidaymaker in Cyprus has appeared in court.

Robert Birch, who was 39 and known as Charlie, from Welshpool, Powys, died after being hit by a car in Paphos in the early hours of 24 June.

The 35-year-old defendant, who has been charged pre-meditated murder, is set to enter a plea next month.

A 23-year-old woman who had also been arrested has been released without charge.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The resort of Paphos is popular among British tourists

Builder Mr Birch was on the holiday island with family - including his two daughters - when he was involved in a suspected "deliberate" hit-and-run in the street.

A 32-year-old British man was also taken to hospital after the incident.

Police later found a blue car in the sea at Agios Georgios in Pegeia.

Image copyright Marios Ignatiou, PafosPress.com
Image caption A smashed windscreen on the car which was found in the harbour

On Friday, a court in Paphos was told that the defendant was not yet ready to enter a plea.

Defence solicitors Savvas Matsas and Ioanna Neofytou told the court there was still outstanding issues in the case - such as CCTV footage and witness statements.

The defendant, who cannot be identified under Cypriot law, was remanded into custody.

He will reappear in court on 19 September.

Image caption The hearing took place at Paphos District Court

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