DEPRAVED killer Danilo Restivo has again appeared in court to fight for his “right to family and private life”.
The brutal murderer is battling deportation to his native Italy and claims he is entitled to remain in the UK.
Restivo, who brutally murdered Bournemouth mum Heather Barnett in 2002, is claiming he should be allowed to remain in the same country as his wife.
But Home Secretary Theresa May has issued an order for him to be transferred to Italy, where he has also been convicted of the horrific murder of 16-year-old Elisa Claps.
At a special immigration court in Bradford this week, Restivo claimed it would be unfair to send him to Italy because he would not be able to see his wife, Fiamma Marsango, who still lives opposite the scene of Heather Barnett’s violent murder in Capstone Road, Charminster.
He claimed Italian courts are so strict that he would not be able to speak to her or write to her, a claim which was dismissed as an exaggeration by the Home Office.
The hearing is believed to be the first stage of a lengthy process which Restivo hopes will result in staying in the UK. The result of the hearing is likely to be announced within a few weeks.
If Restivo remains in the UK for the duration of his 40-year sentence, the cost to the British taxpayer will be around £2 million.
He argues that he needs to stay to be near his wife, who has arthritis, despite being in a prison in Yorkshire more than 200 miles from her home address.
Restivo murdered Elisa Claps more than 20 years ago in his home town of Potenza before moving to the UK. He married Fiamma in 2004 and the pair set up home in Charminster, opposite where Heather Barnett lived with her two children.
The children, then aged 11 and 14, found their mother’s mutilated body in the bathroom when they came from school. Restivo had left cut strands of someone else’s hair in her hands, the same as he had done to Elisa Claps.
Before Restivo was caged for the murder, police were so concerned for Fiamma’s welfare, and that of her children and foreign students who stayed at the address, that they took the unusual step of warning them they were in danger. Special Osman warnings were issued but Fiamma remained with her husband.
Victims’ relatives continue to suffer
WHEN Danilo Restivo violently robbed Heather Barnett and Elisa Claps of their lives, he did so without thought for their loved ones.
Elisa was a happy-go-lucky teenager, the pride and joy of her mother and the rest of her family.
And Heather was a hard-working single mum who devoted her life to her two children, Caitlin, then just 11 years old, and 14-year-old Terry.
For 17 years Elisa’s family had no idea what had happened to her and struggled to come to terms with her disappearance.
In an exclusive interview with the Daily Echo in 2004 her mum, Filomena then 67 years old, said the only thing keeping her going was the determination to discover what had happened to her daughter.
“I miss her sitting at the table, I miss her hugs. She was the youngest of my family and I keep going now because I have to. Sometimes I hold conversations with her and she is my first and last thought every day,” she said.
It was to be six more years before her daughter’s body was discovered in the local church but Mrs Claps said: “Please help me to discover the truth. When I have found out what happened to Elisa I can close the book and I can have somewhere to take flowers for her. Then, after that, God can call me whenever he wants to.”
Elisa’s brother, Gildo, never stopped searching for his little sister and stepped up his efforts after a link was made between Elisa and Heather.
When Filomena travelled to Winchester for Restivo’s trial, she met Heather’s daughter, Caitlin, and told her she reminded her of Elisa.
She had voiced a desire to meet Heather’s children since discovering the fate of their mother and both families felt an instant connection.
“When I heard of her (Heather’s) death, my first thoughts were for the children,” said Mrs Claps. “I think I can understand how they feel – I feel a bond with them.”
After the trial in 2011, Caitlin said: “There were certainly times when I thought there would never by any justice. Even when we got to the first anniversary I thought that. Imagine what it was like as more and more years passed.”
It was nearly nine years after her mother’s death that Caitlin sat through every day of Restivo’s trial at Winchester Crown Court.
Afterwards, she said: “I have had nearly nine years to get used to it,” and said she didn’t want to miss any of the evidence because she needed to know what had happened.
She added: “I was very confused about what made him choose my mum for this violent crime. What made him choose the lady across the road?”