A FASHION designer’s stalker ex-boyfriend has been jailed for causing her suicide through a campaign of terror.
A judge ruled Marco Venturi was guilty of driving Carlotta Benusiglio to hang herself in a city centre square following two years of harassment and abuse.
Venturi, 45, was initially accused of murder but the charge was downgraded by a court in Milan, Italy.
Yesterday he was convicted of “causing death as a result of another crime” in the landmark case.
He was also found guilty of stalking and bodily injury and was jailed for six years.
Crucially, magistrate Raffaella Mascarino established that Carlotta’s the death was the consequence of “previous malicious conduct” by the defendant.
The victim’s tearful sister Georgia said a kind of justice had been done as she stood outside court with her mother.
She said: “We are happy because the responsibility for my sister’s death has been brought back to Venturi.
“He was not sentenced to many years but we wanted to restore dignity to my sister and today it has been done.
“I believed in justice and it has arrived.”
Fashion stylist and designer Carlotta, 37, was found hanged in Milan’s Piazza Napoli in May 2016.
Her family soon suspected it was not suicide after it emerged she had been seen arguing with her “jealous” ex Venturi the night before.
One theory put forward by investigators claimed he strangled her with a scarf and made it look like a hanging to cover his tracks.
However pathologists found no sign of foul play, and judges blocked efforts to have Venturi arrested three times.
How you can get help
Women’s Aid has this advice for victims and their families:
- Always keep your phone nearby.
- Get in touch with charities for help, including the Women’s Aid live chat helpline and services such as SupportLine.
- If you are in danger, call 999.
- Familiarise yourself with the Silent Solution, reporting abuse without speaking down the phone, instead dialing “55”.
- Always keep some money on you, including change for a pay phone or bus fare.
- If you suspect your partner is about to attack you, try to go to a lower-risk area of the house – for example, where there is a way out and access to a telephone.
- Avoid the kitchen and garage, where there are likely to be knives or other weapons. Avoid rooms where you might become trapped, such as the bathroom, or where you might be shut into a cupboard or other small space.
If you are a victim of domestic abuse, SupportLine is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6pm to 8pm on 01708 765200. The charity’s email support service is open weekdays and weekends during the crisis – [email protected].
Women’s Aid provides a live chat service – available weekdays from 8am-6pm and weekends 10am-6pm.
You can also call the freephone 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.
Nearly five years after Carlotta’s death, the case was reopened last March.
Prosecutors were seeking 30 years in jail for voluntary homicide, but the court instead found Venturi guilty of the lesser charge.
He got nine years reduced to six because he had agreed to a fast-track trial behind closed doors.
The judge also awarded provisional compensation of 200,000 euros each for Carlotta’s mother and sister.
They said they were not interested in money, and only brought their parallel civil case to prove Venturi was responsible.
Venturi’s lawyer Andrea Belotti said he was “disappointed” in the verdicts but pleased to be cleared of murder.
He said: “The hypothesis that Venturi strangled Benusiglio and staged the suicide has completely fallen.”
He added what matters “is that no one can dare to call him the killer of his ex-partner.
“This is a point in our favour and we will absolutely appeal.”
YOU’RE NOT ALONE
EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.
It doesn’t discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.
It’s the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.
Yet it’s rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.
That is why The Sun launched the You’re Not Alone campaign.
The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.
Let’s all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others… You’re Not Alone.
If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:
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