A man has been jailed for two-and-a-half years for reckless driving after he caused the death of Welshpool man Charlie Birch in Cyprus last year.

On Thursday, July 18, the Paphos Criminal Court sentenced Demetris Ilidzides, 35, for causing the death of father-of-two Robert James (Charlie) Birch.

Ilidzides was initially charged with murder and then manslaughter, but he pleaded not guilty and then the charges were withdrawn.

The 39-year-old was on a family holiday when he was hit and killed instantly in the coastal resort of Peyia, Cyprus, on Sunday, June 24, 2018.

Ilidzides was also sentenced to one year in prison for injuring Birch's friend, William Pritchard, aged 32. However, both sentences will run concurrently. The court also ordered for his driving licence to be revoked for a year.

The court heard the fact that the defendant was under the influence of alcohol was not a mitigating factor but that it took into consideration that he immediately admitted to the offences, a report from the Cyprus Mail reported. His clean criminal record was also taken into account.

The Georgian national was charged with premeditated murder to begin with, which he denied. When the charge was downgraded to manslaughter in January, he pleaded not guilty again; saying he hit the two men by accident.

Ilidzides admitted earlier in the month to causing death through reckless driving without deceit, and culpable negligence, injuring Mr Pritchard, and abandoning the scene, after prosecutors withdrew the manslaughter and attempted murder charges.

It was the second time since Ilidzides' trial started in September last year that prosecutors amended charges in a case which is widely believed to have been a deliberate assault following an earlier altercation, the Cyprus Mail said.

Ilidzides' lawyer tried to secure a suspended sentence during mitigation, arguing among other things that as his client was drunk during the incident, this had a taken a toll on his concentration, perception and assessment of danger.

The court also heard that he was a law-abiding person and a father of three children; and that his family had been experiencing financial difficulties. The defence lawyer also said Ilidzides immediately admitted to the charges following amendment and that this stemmed from real remorse.