The Paphos Court found the builder guilty of murdering mother-of-three Myrianthi Stylianou, 46, and 76-year-old café owner Soctrates Kyprianou on March 20 in his village of Choletria. He was sentenced to 28 years imprisonment for each killing.
Aresti was also jailed for 18 years on a third charge of attempted murder.
The court ruled that all three sentences run concurrently.
He was not sentenced for the lesser charge of illegal possession and use of a firearm and explosives.
On the day of the shooting, the 46-year-old, who was said to have been suffering from mental problems, walked into a grocery store and shot and killed Kyprianou and Stylianou with his hunting shotgun. He then turned the gun on the local priest and fired, but missed, hitting his car.
During sentencing, the court took into serious consideration the fact that although Aresti had pleaded guilty to both murders, he had showed no signs of remorse and had in fact told police in a statement that he was not sorry for his actions.
The court also took into consideration the defendant’s severe psychological problems, in combination with his actions and continued aggression, in an effort to protect society.
According to local residents, Arestis’ condition appeared to have been triggered by the death of his son several years ago. In the days leading up to the double murder, he had become withdrawn. When he finally gave police a statement about why he had committed the shooting, he said the two victims had mocked him and that he had done it “for a laugh”.
Throughout the proceedings, police took draconian security measures both inside and outside the courtroom, deemed necessary due to heightened emotions from the victims’ families.
The victims’ relatives were unhappy with the sentences imposed and attempted to lynch Aresti on his way out, but were stopped by police.
October 31, 2008, Cyprus Mail