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Way beyond the Naughty Step


Some private landlords treat tenants as a nuisance. A sitting tenant can get in the way of a quick deal or reduce the value of a property on which the landlord is hoping to make a quick buck. Thanos Papalexis found himself in this situation when Charalambos Christodoulides, the resident caretaker of a derelict warehouse complex in Kensal Rise, refused to leave, potentially causing problems for a £2 million property deal. Mr Papalexis didn’t resort to illegal eviction, though. He had another solution for the problem presented by Mr Christodoulides.

He had him killed.

In fact, Mr Christoduoulides was tied to a chair, tortured, then strangled.

Mr Papalexis, of Palm Beach, Florida, besides being a callous murderer, appears to have had a number of issues with adequacy, some of which may have led to the killing.

For starters, there was the fact that he wasn’t a very good property developer at all. He desperately needed the money from the warehouse sale because he had made heavy losses on another development in Holloway (in 2000! How did any property developer make heavy losses in 2000?) and was paying £60,000 a week on a bridging loan.

And then there was his confession in 2004 to Rebecca DeFalco, a Florida based prostitute/porn actor/’high class call-girl’, with whom he had an affair. He told Ms DeFalco that he had strangled a man who got in his way. The competency issue arises because a) he confessed to someone unlikely to be wholly trustworthy and b) because this may be the only true thing that Mr Papalexis told Ms DeFalco, as he spent the rest of the time telling her he was a spy who worked for MI6 and the CIA, presenting her with a rosary supposedly removed from the hands of his mother’s exhumed corpse ‘to make her feel special’ (as one does), and, of course, telling her the old favourite that he and his wife ‘had an understanding’, which came as news to his wife.

We won’t go into the ‘wild sex parties’ at a rented Florida mansion, but even there Mr Papalexis managed to bring in a note of failure, telling the court that there had only been one such party. (This is not in any way to be confused with the fundraiser attended by Hillary Clinton that Mr Papalexis had also held at the mansion.)

The police were after Mr Papalexis for years, and in 2006 he was extradited from Florida to face trial for the murder of Mr Christodoulides, whose battered body had been found in a basement in the derelict Kensal Rise site. Mr Papalexis was found guilty last Friday and stands revealed as a truly vile specimen of humanity.

Giles Peaker is a solicitor and partner in the Housing and Public Law team at Anthony Gold Solicitors in South London. You can find him on Linkedin and on Twitter. Known as NL round these parts.


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