Dorset

Murder accused was cut on day of girl's disappearance

Elisa Claps
Image caption Elisa Claps' brother believed she had gone to mass when she went missing in 1993

A man linked to the murder of an Italian teenager appeared "agitated" and had a cut to his hand on the day of her disappearance, a jury has heard.

Danilo Restivo also had to change his wet clothes after Elisa Claps, 16, went missing in Potenza, Italy, in 1993.

Mr Restivo is on trial at Winchester Crown Court for the murder of Heather Barnett, 48, who was found dead in 2002 at her Bournemouth home.

Both victims were stabbed and had some of their hair cut off, jurors heard.

The prosecution said it was "akin to a hallmark", and alleges Mr Restivo has a hair fetish.

In a live link-up from Italy, Giovanni Motta, the former fiance of Mr Restivo's sister, Anna, recalled how the defendant was "agitated" at a lunch at the Restivo family home in 1993, the day Miss Claps disappeared.

Asked how Mr Restivo appeared, Mr Motta said: "He seemed agitated and asked us to take him to hospital.

"He was very sweaty, with a hasty step and asked me to accompany him to hospital as he had an injury.

'Small cut'

"It was a little cut, a small cut between first finger and thumb, about a centimetre."

Mr Motta told jurors the defendant had claimed he had injured his hand falling over on an escalator.

Image caption The court has been told Danilo Restivo, who denies murder, has a hair fetish

He recalled how Mr Restivo changed his clothes on returning home from hospital.

"His clothes were soaked, it was a sunny day, I couldn't say if they were wet from sweat or another source."

Miss Claps' brother Gildo made the journey to the UK to give evidence.

He told jurors how he and his sister knew Mr Restivo but she had been frustrated by his advances towards her.

He said he thought his sister had gone to mass with a friend on the day she disappeared, the court heard.

But when he questioned her friend, after she returned alone, she told him that they never went to mass and that Miss Claps' had an appointment with Mr Restivo, jurors were told.

The jury has previously been told Mr Restivo cut the hair of teenage girls on buses in the Bournemouth area around the time of Ms Barnett's death.

Mr Restivo, 39, of Chatsworth Road, Bournemouth, is alleged to have entered Ms Barnett's flat and bludgeoned the mother of two with a hammer before cutting her throat. He denies her murder.

The case continues.

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