Friday 23 March 2018

Hair fetishist's 'hallmark' links deaths, trial hears

Martin Halfpenny in London

A man with a hair fetish murdered and mutilated a seamstress with the same "hallmark" method he used to kill a teenager in Italy, a court heard yesterday.

Italian national Danilo Restivo (39) is alleged to have entered the flat of his neighbour, Heather Barnett, in Bournemouth, Dorset, in 2002, bludgeoning her with a hammer and cutting her throat.

He then cut off Mrs Barnett's (48) breasts, leaving a clump of someone else's hair in her right hand and some of her own underneath her left hand, Winchester Crown Court heard.

The jury was told the manner in which Mrs Barnett was murdered could be considered Restivo's hallmark, and linked the killing to the murder of 16-year-old Elisa Claps in Potenza, Italy, in 1993.

Michael Bowes, prosecuting, explained that Restivo, who then lived in Potenza, had arranged to meet Elisa at the Most Holy Trinity Church on September 12, 1993. The teenager was never seen again and her body was discovered in a loft of the church 17 years later, on March 17 of last year.

The barrister said "a number of striking similarities" could be found between the two murders. He said: "In particular, next to her body there were locks of her own hair . . . In addition, Elisa Clap's trousers and pants were lowered to the same level as those of Heather Barnett and Elisa Clap's bra was cut or broken at the front in the same way as Heather Barnett's bra." Mr Bowes explained to the jury that the similarities provided "powerful evidence" that he was the person who murdered Mrs Barnett.

Restivo, of Chatsworth Road, Bournemouth, denies murdering Mrs Barnett.

Irish Independent

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