A jury has cleared Pietro Addis of murdering his grandmother, the Brighton restaurant boss Sue Addis, at Lewes Crown Court this morning (Friday 3 March).
Pietro Addis admitted manslaughter after he stabbed Mrs Addis 17 times in the bath of her home in Cedars Gardens, Brighton, in January 2021.
The teenager, who turns 20 this month, was unanimously cleared of murder which he denied on the ground of diminished responsibility by a jury of four men and eight women.
They spent six hours and three minutes considering their verdict which was given to the court shortly after 11.30am today.
The court was told that Pietro Addis admitted manslaughter on the basis that his responsibility was diminished by a brief and transient paranoid psychosis.
The jury accepted his defence and Judge Christine Laing, the honorary recorder of Brighton and Hove, said that she would sentence Pietro Addis on Friday 5 May.
She asked for a psychiatrist’s report to help he assess the level of dangerousness posed by the defendant.
Yesterday the judge said that it was “a deeply sad case”, adding: “Mrs Addis was a warm and generous person who was supportive of her family and would do anything for them.”
Pietro Addis, of Radinden Manor Road, Hove, was 17 when he killed Mrs Addis who ran Donatello, in Brighton Place, and Pinocchio, in New Road, both in Brighton.
The jury was told that the teenager, whose family had just moved to Ring Road, Lancing, had used cannabis and other drugs.
These included Xanax and more than the prescribed dose of Elvanse, his medicine for ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).
The judge said: “Drug usage was undoubtedly an issue.”
It was the subject of family arguments – but Pietro Addis’s drug use had dropped before he stabbed his 69-year-old grandmother 17 times in the bath at her home.
Referring to the experts’ evidence, the judge said: “Neither of them dispute the effect that drugs were having on the defendant.”
But they were not the primary factor, the judge added, and the two expert witnesses agreed that the pyschosis had not been drug-induced.
The evidence given by the expert witnesses, consultant forensic psychiatrists Peter Misch and Duncan Harding, offered different views.
Dr Misch said that Pietro Addis had suffered from a psychotic episode but Dr Harding said that the explanation was more likely to have been a flash of anger.
Detective Superintendent Mark Chapman, of the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team, said: “This is a tragic case in which a much-loved grandmother, who was widely respected in the Brighton and Hove community, has lost her life in the most terrible circumstances.
“Our thoughts remain with the Addis family and loved ones who have behaved with dignity and compassion throughout this harrowing ordeal.”