'A victory for criminality': Italian jeweller who shot dead two robbers given 'shameful' 17-year prison sentence

6 December 2023, 16:16

In response to the verdict, Roggero said it "a victory for criminality and delinquency".
In response to the verdict, Roggero said it "a victory for criminality and delinquency". Picture: Ministero della giustizia, Facebook
Jasmine Moody

By Jasmine Moody

An Italian jeweller has been sentenced to 17 years in prison and fined nearly £240,000 for shooting two robbers who raided his store, promoting debate about self-defence.

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Mario Roggero shot at the three thieves in Grinzane Cavour, in the northern Piedmont region in Italy, on 28 April 2021, after they tied up his daughter, threatened to kill his wife and raided his shop.

CCTV shows Roggero chasing the thieves out of his shop and shooting at least five times.

Two of the robbers, Andrea Spinelli and Giuseppe Mazzarino, died near the shop entrance.

Alessandro Modica, 35, was injured and taken to hospital before being arrested.

The prosecutor argued in court that Roggero carried out an "execution" style stint, as he followed the thieves outside before shooting them
The prosecutor argued in court that Roggero carried out an "execution" style stint, as he followed the thieves outside before shooting them . Picture: Ministero della giustizia

Roggero was sentenced to 17 years in jail - three more than the term requested by prosecutors.

Now, Roggero’s sentence has caused uproar in Italy with right-wing politicians supporting the jeweller, saying he was only defending himself and his family.

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Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, and leader of the right-wing League party, expressed his "full solidarity" for the shop owner: "He worked hard all his life, and he was just trying to defend his family and his business.”

In addition, Lucio Malan, a member of the Brothers of Italy Party (Fratelli d'Italia), led by Giorgia Meloni, said: "If you carried out a survey, 95 per cent of people would be against this sentence."

However, the prosecutor argued in court that Roggero carried out an "execution" style stint, as he followed the thieves outside before shooting them.

Roggero told the Italian press: "They were counting: five, four, three… I thought I was going to die".
Roggero told the Italian press: "They were counting: five, four, three… I thought I was going to die". Picture: Ministero della giustizia

In court, Roggero said he chased the men over fears they kidnapped his wife.

He also told the court that his actions were reactive and he had been robbed and beaten in 2015, consequently suffering trauma, which affected his judgement.

A psychiatrist told the trial: "In his mind, there was a reactivation of what had happened six years before".

CCTV shows a man, who appears to be Roggero, held at gunpoint and moved into the store’s back room.

Roggero told the Italian press: "They were counting: five, four, three… I thought I was going to die".

Residents in Roggero’s town have also given the jewellery shop owner their support.
Residents in Roggero’s town have also given the jewellery shop owner their support. Picture: Facebook

In addition to the sentence, Roggero was ordered to pay £239,964.37 (€280,000) to the families of the two men he shot.

In response, Roggero said the verdict was "a victory for criminality and delinquency".

Residents in Roggero’s town have given the jewellery shop owner their support, with one resident calling it "shameful", and instead blaming the robbers for their demise.

Roggero is expected to appeal the conviction, according to The Telegraph.

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