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Italian teen released after killing abusive father

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image captionProsecutors now believe the young woman acted in self-defence

Prosecutors in Italy have released from house arrest a 19-year-old who killed her violent father at their home north of Rome.

Deborah Sciacquatori acted in self-defence in an episode of domestic abuse, the local prosecutor decided.

Initially accused of manslaughter, she now faces the lesser charge of culpable excess of legitimate self-defence, but that may also be dropped.

The prosecutor said she had begged her father to stop the abuse.

"It is possible in the next fortnight that the investigating judge may be asked to close the case because the young woman, according to what we currently know, acted in self-defence," said Tivoli prosecutor Francesco Menditto.

'A life of hell'

The case has raised questions about domestic abuse in Italy, including the issue of when self-defence can legitimately be used.

The man who died, 41-year-old ex-boxer Lorenzo Sciacquatori, was reportedly known as a violent man. He had served a jail term for assaulting a police officer in 2016 and his parents-in-law said he had beaten their daughter for 20 years.

Deborah Sciacquatori is also said to have suffered years of abuse, but her mother had not reported it out of fear that her daughter would be taken into care.

Her family have supported the young woman for defending the family.

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How the father died

According to local reports, Sciacquatori had returned home drunk in the early hours of Sunday and shouted at his wife and daughter for several hours.

Deborah Sciacquatori had initially locked herself in a room with her grandmother to prevent an attack. But when he approached them, the prosecutor said she had warned her father: "Dad, stop, don't do any more."

She then fought back, hitting him over the head. He had taught her boxing and she was passionate about the sport.

She tried to leave the house with her mother and grandmother, but her father is said to have threatened them. She then hit him and cut his neck with a knife she had taken from the kitchen, causing a fatal injury.

Although she tried to stem the wound as he lay in the entrance hall of their building in Monterotondo Scalo, he later died of a haemorrhage.

Prosecutors cited witnesses who heard her say at this point: "Don't leave me, I love you."

They will decide in the coming days whether Deborah Sciacquatori has a case to answer.

Related Topics

  • Italy
  • Domestic abuse

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