British teenager tourist jailed for killing British soldier in Cyprus / UK Breaking News

Collins

A British tourist has been jailed for stabbing a 19-year-old soldier to death in a nightclub row at a popular Cyprus holiday resort.

David Collins from the 2nd Battalion, Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, was off duty with three other soldiers when he died after a fight broke out in a nightclub in the party town of Ayia Napa.

He had been due to fly out to Afghanistan the following day.

His attacker Mohammed Osman, 20, who was living in London but was originally from Somalia, admitted manslaughter and was today sentenced at a court in Larnaca.

Mr Collins and his colleagues, who were stationed at an army base in the Dhekelia area of the island, became embroiled in a brawl with Osman and two other British holidaymakers in the early hours of the morning.

The row is said to have started over taunting related to Manchester-London rivalry.

Osman changed his original not guilty plea and accepted he had stabbed the soldier in the chest. His lawyer said he had since apologised to Mr Collins’ family.

Police said that Osman had admitted stabbing Mr Collins but said it was in self-defence as he and his friends were attacked by the soldiers.

Two fellow British tourists, who cannot be named for legal reasons because they are both 17, were released last month after charges against them were dropped.

Manslaughter can carry a life prison term in Cyprus but Osman’s lawyer told the court that his client was provoked during a drunken row.

The soldier’s mother, sister and members of his regiment were in court to hear the sentencing.

British Forces Cyprus spokeswoman Connie Pierce said: “Osman will serve eight years in a Cyprus prison.

“The Republic of Cyprus legal system has now brought to a close an investigation that began on November 4. BFC continues to provide welfare support to Ms Minott the mother of Fusilier Collins.”

Ayia Napa has a reputation for sex drugs and violence, with an abundance of bars and nightclubs with cheap alcohol deals. It is a popular destination for young British holidaymakers.

The area was declared off limits to British soldiers – some 3,000 are based on the island – after the rape and murder of Danish tour guide Louise Jensen by British servicemen in 1994.

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