Pensioner cleared of road rage killing
Jury delivers not guilty verdicts for murder and manslaughter
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