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Cyprus hit-and-run suspect released over death of holidaymaker

By Jonny Drury | Welshpool | Crime | Published:

A woman held on suspicion of the attempted and premeditated murder of a Mid Wales man in Cyprus has been released without charge.

Victim Charlie Birch

A 23-year-old woman and a 35-year-old man were arrested after Charlie Birch, 39, from Welshpool, was killed in a suspected hit and run in Paphos on June 24.

Local reports said the woman has been released without charge. In a court hearing on Thursday investigating officers said she was likely to be called as a prosecution witness in the murder case they intend to file against the man. He was due to appear before a district court today.

Mr Birch’s body has now been returned to the UK where his family are making funeral arrangements.

He had been on holiday with his family. His brother-in-law Will Pritchard, 32, was also involved in the crash and is recovering from his injuries.

The family has thanked airline Jet2 and the British Consulate for providing round-the-clock support, as well as locals in Cyprus who laid floral tributes at the crash scene.

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The arrests were made after a car was reported to have crashed into Avios Georghios Harbour, where a woman had to be rescued and a man swam away.

In Welshpool, the town council has confirmed that a grass area next to the tourist information centre can be used for people to leave their tributes to Mr Birch. There has been an outpouring of sorrow in the town since the incident and a minute’s silence was held at last week’s town council meeting.

The town hall flag will also be flown at half mast on the day of Mr Birch’s funeral. The mayor, Councillor Steve Kaye, said it would be an appropriate gesture for the family and the town.

Jonny Drury

By Jonny Drury
@JonnyDrury_Star

Senior reporter covering Oswestry and Mid Wales.

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