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‘Doting dad’ Charlie died from multiple injuries, inquest hears

Created on 03/05/2022 @ 17:57

The Welshpool man who was killed in Cyprus by a car being driven by a man who he had had an earlier altercation with in a bar was described as a “doting dad” with the family saying “our lives will never be the same”.

Wales Online is reporting that dad-of-two Robert James Birch, known as Charlie, died at approximately 3am on June 24, 2018, after being hit by a car whilst walking along a roadside with another Welshpool man, Will Pritchard.

An inquest in Pontypridd heard evidence from a translated court hearing at Paphos District Court which said that, at some point, an altercation between the two parties had started with Mr Birch striking “the accused” Ilidzides on the face. 

Mr Birch then left on foot with Mr Pritchard, walking along an "earth verge" at the side of the road, Wales Online reports.

Ilidzides was said to have been "driving at night at high speed under the influence of alcohol" off the road resulting in him hitting Mr Birch and Mr Pritchard.

Ilidzides then continued driving the rented car before eventually driving it into the sea where he and his female companion were helped out of the water by three people.

Members of the police found Mr Birch on the ground of the Peyia Road in Ayios Georgiox and Mr Pritchard was also injured at the scene. Mr Pritchard told the police that they had been hit by a car which had then fled the scene.

He was then taken to Paphos General Hospital. Members of the police later found Ilidzides and the female companion walking along a road and the car was found in the sea.

Ilidzides was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for reckless driving on July 18, 2019. He was also sentenced to one year in prison for injuring Mr Pritchard which ran concurrently. A medical cause of death was given as multiple injuries as part of the record of inquest.

Assistant coroner for the South Wales Central area Rachel Knight offered her condolences to Mr Birch’s family and said: “I cannot conceive how horrendous it must have been to go on holiday and come back without your loved one.”

The coroner entered a narrative conclusion, saying: “Robert was aged 39 when he died whilst on holiday in Cyprus on June 24, 2018.”

The conclusion continued: “Robert was out socialising with a relative and became involved in an altercation with a man in a bar in the early hours of the morning shortly before his death. The same man went on to drive a vehicle whilst under the influence of alcohol and went on to hit Robert who was walking lawfully along the side of the road. Sadly, Robert died of his injuries at the scene.”

A family statement read out during the inquest said that Mr Birch, born on January 6, 1979, was the only son born to Rose and Jim Birch and was described as the “apple of their eye”.

Mr Birch was said to be a “doting dad” to his two daughters.

“He was a brilliant dad and would have done anything to make his girls happy,” the statement read. “Our sadness remains overwhelming and our lives will never be the same.”


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