Pen­sioner cleared of road rage killing

Jury de­liv­ers not guilty ver­dicts for mur­der and man­slaugh­ter

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

AN OAP cleared of mur­der and man­slaugh­ter charges has spo­ken of his re­lief and sor­row as he walked free from court.

A jury found Odysseas Vafi­adis not guilty of both charges on Mon­day Septem­ber 19 af­ter a two-week trial at Read­ing Crown Court. He had been ac­cused of caus­ing the death of pen­sioner Paul David­son fol­low­ing a vi­o­lent con­fronta­tion – dubbed a road rage at­tack.

Speak­ing af­ter he was dis­charged from court 70-year-old Mr Vafi­adis said he was look­ing for­ward to spend­ing some qual­ity time with his fam­ily, adding: “I am re­lieved but I’m still very an­gry that it went this far.

“It has been a night­mare for nearly a year. I think it is so un­fair be­cause I don’t lie, I tell the truth. I’m so pleased for my fam­ily be­cause the grand kids can stay with us, be­cause they lost their mother in 2009. And it is a re­lief for my son be­cause he’s only a post­man and he can get on with his job.”

Mr Vafi­adis said he was pro­voked by Mr David­son and in­sisted he never wanted to have a fight. The pen­sioner was driv­ing his grand­son home from a leisure cen­tre when he had to stop his white Skoda Yeti close to a ze­bra cross­ing in Mar­ket Place, Chal- font St Peter, to al­low Mr David­son to walk across.

Mr Vafi­adis of Birhch­dale, Gerrards Cross claimed Mr David­son then walked back and forth across the cross­ing sev­eral times while hurl­ing abuse at him, which prompted the de­fen­dant to step out and con­front him.

The pair ex­changed words be­fore grey­haired Mr Vafi­adis start­ing throw­ing punches and kicks at Mr David­son’s face, arm and back, frac­tur­ing four ribs which led to his death, the jury was told.

The pen­sioner burst into tears as he was cleared of Mr David­son’s killing and said he was an­gry that he had had to en­dure a trial. Speak­ing out­side court he said: “You must be­lieve I was telling the truth, you must be­lieve that it’s so im­por­tant.”

Talk­ing about the in­ci­dent he added: “I didn’t want to get out, I went out to ap­proach him and say what’s go­ing on? He’s gone for me and it all hap­pened so quickly.”

Mr Vafi­adis con­tin­ued: “I’m so sorry for his fam­ily, I re­ally am, I didn’t want him to die.”

Mr Vafi­adis was charged with a sin­gle count of man­slaugh­ter and one count of mur­der af­ter he was ar­rested on the day of the at­tack in Novem­ber 2015.

Pros­e­cut­ing, Ian Hope had told jurors: “The in­ci­dent lasted just short of two min­utes and Mr Vafi­adis left the scene in his Skoda with his grand­son in the pas­sen­ger seat.

“It was clear Mr David­son sus­tained cuts and bruises to the face, head and arms and com­plained of pain in the kid­neys and prob­lems with breath­ing.”

Doc­tors did not di­ag­nose Mr David­son with any bro­ken bones on the first ex­am­i­na­tion but he died days later shortly af­ter his part­ner Nicola Fer­gu­son no­ticed se­vere bruis­ing on his back.

Mr Hope added: “Mem­bers of the pub­lic said he lost colour and con­cerns at the scene were raised as to whether he sus­tained bro­ken rib. A para­medic no­ticed marks on his back and he was taken to hos­pi­tal. Mr David­son wished to go home as soon as he could but Nicola Fer­gu­son wanted him to stay at the hos­pi­tal.”

Not guilty: Odysseas Vafi­adis

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