The grandson of Brighton restaurant boss Sue Addis has admitted stabbing her to death but he blamed paranoid psychosis, a jury was told this morning (Wednesday 27 April).
Pietro Addis, 19, of Radinden Manor Road, Hove, is accused of murdering his 69-year-old grandmother on Thursday 7 January last year at her home in Cedars Gardens, Brighton.
Addis denies murder but admits manslaughter.
At Lewes Crown Court this morning, Rossano Scamardello, prosecuting, opened the case in a trial being presided over by Judge Christine Laing, the honorary recorder of Brighton and Hove.
Here is what Mr Scamardello told the jury …
“Shortly before 7pm on (Thursday) 7 January last year, Pietro Addis called 999 and said: ‘I’m calling to hand myself in.’
“He gave his name and said he was at 1 Cedars Gardens, in Brighton, and that that was his grandmother’s address.
“He ended the call at this point but the diligent police operator called back almost straight away and spoke to Pietro who, when asked what he had done, said: ‘There has been a murder.’
“The operator pressed Pietro about who had been killed and he said that it was his grandmother who had been murdered and that she was in the bath, telling the police that it had all happened approximately 20 minutes ago.
“When asked how it had happened, he said. ‘No comment.’ But when asked how sure he was that his grandmother was dead, he was to tell the police: ‘One hundred per cent.’
“Police officers were dispatched immediately and arrived at the address at 7.08pm. The front door was open and Pietro Addis was waiting just inside the house.
“He identified himself to the attending officers and told them that his grandmother was upstairs in the bath.
“Those attending officers made their way upstairs and found that the bathroom door was open and that the room was in complete darkness.
“PC (Richard) Hall turned on the light and saw Susan Addis naked in a bath of blood-stained water.
“She was dead.
“There were a significant number of puncture wounds to her body. She had been stabbed to death.
“Police were to recover three knives from the scene. The first was a large black-handled knife found on a bathmat found near the bath Mrs Addis was discovered in.
“The second was a smaller black-handled knife found underneath Mrs Addis’s body when she was lifted from the bath.
“Finally, a third knife was recovered from inside a jacket recovered from Pietro’s bedroom.
“The post-mortem examination revealed 17 stab wounds to the body: two to the neck, four to the chest, five to the abdomen, four to the left arm and two to the left leg.
“Death occurred as a result of the stab wounds in the neck and two of the stab wounds in the chest. All four of these injuries were immediately life-threatening and independently fatal themselves.
“One of the wounds to the chest, which cut through a rib, would have required a severe degree of force.
“There were also some recent bruises and grazing to her face and limbs, although no evidence of significant blunt force assault. There were no defensive injuries.
“Pietro Addis is charged with the murder of his grandmother, Susan Addis, on (Thursday) 7 January (2021).
“He admits killing her. His case is that he was suffering from paranoid psychosis at the time, diminishing his responsibility for that killing – and he has pleaded guilty to manslaughter to reflect that position.
“However, it is the prosecution case that Pietro Addis suffered no such psychosis at the time of the killing and that he bears complete responsibility for the murder of his grandmother.
“This murder, so say the prosecution, is likely to have been done in anger.
“You will hear expert evidence from two psychiatrists on the issue of Pietro’s mental health – and it is likely that it is upon that evidence that this case will turn.”
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