A jury at Winchester Crown Court has convicted Danilo Restivo of the murder of Heather Barnett in 2002. CPS reviewing lawyer Alastair Nisbet said:
“Danilo Restivo has been convicted of the murder of Heather Barnett in her own home in Bournemouth on 12 November 2002, leaving her mutilated body for her two children to find on their return from school. Everyone who has listened to this trial will have been shocked at the callous and brutal behaviour of Restivo which was described in court.
“Heather Barnett was a devoted mother who worked long hours as a seamstress to provide for her young family. She is greatly missed by those close to her.
“The jury heard evidence about the way in which Heather Barnett was cruelly murdered and the bizarre clue which pointed to Restivo being responsible. A clump of another person’s hair was placed in her left hand, and her own hair had been cut. This was a significant factor that led investigators to Restivo, who admitted to the jury that he had cut the hair of women, both in Italy and when he came to England, on public transport and in other public places.
“The Crown Prosecution Service would like to thank the witnesses who came to the court to give evidence in the course of the trial, including other women whose hair Danilo Restivo had cut without consent; and other members of the public and expert scientific witnesses.
“The jury also heard evidence that Danilo Restivo was responsible for the murder of Elisa Claps in Italy. There were striking similarities between the two murders. It is important to say, however, that the jury was not asked to decide whether or not Danilo Restivo murdered Elisa Claps and he awaits his trial in Italy for that.
“I am grateful to the Italian authorities for their assistance, to the expert witnesses involved in the investigation into the murder of Elisa Claps in Italy, who travelled to Winchester to give evidence, and also to those Italian witnesses who gave evidence by video link from courts in Potenza, Bologna and Salerno.
"My thoughts, and those of my Crown Prosecution Service colleagues, are with Heather’s children and her wider family. I hope that this conviction today brings some small measure of comfort to them.”
The Italian authorities have requested the extradition of Restivo in relation to the murder of Elisa Claps. A prisoner can be temporarily surrendered to another country to face trial. This is discretionary and will be dealt with by the CPS and another court in due course.