David Jeremy QC

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David Jeremy QC: news

R v Restivo
30.6.2011

Danilo Restivo was given a ‘whole life term’ at Winchester Crown Court for what were described by the trial judge, Mr Justice Burnett as ‘crimes of almost inhuman depravity’. David Jeremy QC appeared on behalf of the defence.

Restivo had been convicted of the murder of his neighbour Heather Barnett in Bournemouth in November 2002.  She had been found beaten to death and with her throat cut in the bathroom of her home by her young children on their return from school.  She had also been sexually mutilated.  Her own hair had been cut, and a lock of someone else’s hair had been placed in her right hand by her murderer.

It was known and agreed at the trial that Restivo had a fetish for cutting women’s hair in public places such as buses or on trains.

The jury also heard evidence that, in 1993 in his home town of Potenza in southern Italy, Restivo had murdered Elisa Claps, a 16 year old girl.  She had disappeared without trace on the morning of Sunday 12th September 1993 after meeting with Restivo at her local church.  Her body lay apparently undiscovered until March of 2010 when it was found by workmen in the attic of the same church.  A post mortem examination revealed that Elisa Claps’ hair had been cut shortly after her murder.  Restivo was charged with the murder of Heather Barnett shortly after the discovery of Elisa Claps’ body.

Restivo had never been prosecuted for the murder of Elisa Claps in Italy and could not be charged with her murder on the same indictment as that relating to Heather Barnett.  Instead, the prosecution relied upon the similar circumstances surrounding the murder of Elisa Claps as a ‘hallmark’ that identified Restivo as the murderer of both women.

This is the first occasion on which similar fact evidence of a second murder with which a defendant is not charged has been admitted into a murder trial.

For further details: 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-dorset-13959630

David Jeremy QC


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