Father killed in Cyprus hit-and-run while on dream family holiday

A father-of-two was killed in a hit-and-run crash while walking home from a bar on a family holiday in Cyprus, an inquest has heard.

Charlie Birch on a previous holiday
Charlie Birch on a previous holiday

Builder Robert "Charlie" Birch, 39, from Welshpool, was walking home after a night out with a friend when he was struck by a local man after an earlier bar fight.

Keen golfer Charlie died at the scene after being mown down on the roadside while walking back at 3am after a night out.

Charlie was on the second night of the stay when he went drinking in Phaphos with relative William Pritchard, 32, in June 2018.

The two had been on a table next to Demetris Ilidzides, 35, and an unnamed 23-year-old female companion – and Charlie began talking to the woman.

The hearing in Pontypridd, South Wales, was told that led to a fight where Charlie had hit Ilidzides on the face.

The British pair left walking along an "earth verge" at the side of the road.

But Ilidzides then drove "at high speed under the influence of alcohol" hitting Mr Birch and Mr Pritchard.

He then drove off into the sea before being helped out of the water by three people.

Ilidzides was caught by police and sentenced to two and a half years in prison for reckless driving at Paphos district court. A medical cause of death was given as multiple injuries.

Charlie went on the dream family holiday with his two daughters, his mother and other members of the family after saving up for a year.

Assistant coroner for the South Wales Central area Rachel Knight offered her condolences to Mr Birch's family as she recorded a narrative verdict.

She said: "I cannot conceive how horrendous it must have been to go on holiday and come back without your loved one.

"Robert was out socialising with a relative and became involved in an altercation with a man in a bar in the early hours of the morning shortly before his death. The same man went on to drive a vehicle whilst under the influence of alcohol and went on to hit Robert who was walking lawfully along the side of the road. Sadly Robert died of his injuries at the scene."

A family statement read out during the inquest said Mr Birch was the only son born to Rose and Jim Birch and was described as the "apple of their eye."

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