Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Local man given suspended jail sentence

Cemetery incident

A local man found guilty of wounding a work colleague with a small pen knife was yesterday given a suspended prison sentence and urged by the Chief Justice to keep his temper under control.

Leopoldo Dellipiani was sentenced to 18 months in prison, suspended for two years, for having wounded his workmate David Parody.

The Chief Justice, Mr Justice Schofield, said the sentence reflected “very strong mitigating factors” arising in the case and should therefore not be seen as setting a precedent for this “very serious” offence.

The suspended sentence means that if Mr Dellipiani commits any further offence during the next two years, he will in all probability have to serve the 18 months in prison. “Do you understand that?” the Chief Justice asked him during a hearing in the Supreme Court yesterday. “Yes, now it is not in your interest to be back in this court, so keep your temper to yourself, alright?”

The incident took place on October 10, 2003, in North Front Cemetery, where both men were at the time employed as gravediggers.

The original offence on the indictment was of ‘wounding with intent’, but this was reduced by a jury at the Supreme Court last month, who found Mr Dellipiani guilty of the lesser offence of ‘wounding’.

Mr Justice Schofield, in sentencing Mr Dellipiani, took account of a number of factors that had emerged during the case.

Mr Dellipiani had used excessive force in self defence, the Chief Justice said, adding that he had not carried the weapon used in the incident - a small pen knife on a key ring – with the intention of causing harm.

The Chief Justice also noted that Mr Dellipiani had no previous convictions and that the offence has had a serious impact on his own life and that of his close family.

“In all the circumstances of this case I am going to take an unusual course, and it is an unusual course, and this case is not to be used as a precedent or seen as being the usual sentence for this type of offence,” Mr Justice Schofield said.


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