A 23-year-old Pakistani national was sentenced to life in prison and given an additional 25-year-term for raping and brutally assaulting a teenage girl on the island of Paros in the summer of 2012.
The court on Syros, the administrative capital of the Cyclades islands, found Ahmed Waqas guilty of attempted manslaughter and rape after a turbulent trial during which the 23-year-old admitted to all the charges brought against him and sought forgiveness from his victim’s relatives.
Dozens of people gathered outside the courtroom in the morning in a show of solidarity for the victim’s family and security was tight.
The mother of Myrto Papadomichelaki, who was aged 15 at the time of the attack, was also in court and had to be restrained by police when she tried to lash out at her daughter’s attacker. She told the court that her daughter was so badly disfigured when she first saw her after the assault that she hardly recognized her, adding that doctors originally told her that the teenager would never recover from the attack.
Earlier Waqas admitted to trying to steal the teenager’s cell phone before raping her, bashing her head with a stone and hiding her behind a pile of rocks on a popular Paros beach where mother and daughter had been holidaying. “I accept all the charges,” Waqas told the court. “I ask her family to forgive me for what I’ve done.”
The girl, who was in a coma for several months after the attack, returned to Greece at the weekend after several months of specialist treatment in a US hospital.
But her mother told the court that she was disheartened by the slow pace of her daughter’s recovery. “My child will never be the same again,” she said, prompting the presiding judge to seek to comfort her.