Giovanni Padovani: Italian footballer jailed for life for beating ex-girlfriend Alessandra Matteuzzi to death
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An Italian footballer, who stalked and beat his ex-girlfriend to death with a hammer week after he was reported for stalking, has been jailed for life. Giovanni Padovani, 28, who played for Sancataldese as a centre-back, was on Monday (February 12) handed a life sentence for murdering his former partner, Alessandra Matteuzzi, 56, outside her home on August 23, 2022, Daily Mail reported.
Alessandra was reportedly speaking with her sister, Stefania, over the phone when Stefania heard her screams as Padovani, also a former model, fatally assaulted her. Padovani used various objects including a hammer, his fists, a baseball bat, and eventually a bench he had taken from a nearby garden. He had travelled to Bologna, northern Italy, and waited outside her property after being advised by his team to skip a training session.
He ambushed Alessandra, launching a brutal attack that Stefania overheard during their phone call. Stefania recounted to a local TV station: "She got out of her car and started screaming, 'No Giovanni, no, I beg you, help.' I immediately called the (police) who arrived straight away."
Despite initially surviving the assault, Alessandra succumbed to severe injuries in the hospital. Reports from local media suggest that the couple had been together for approximately a year, but spent most of their time apart due to Alessandra living in Bologna while Padovani worked in Sicily. Stefania alleged that in January 2022, they had a violent altercation during which Padovani broke dishes and a light at her Bologna home.
Following their breakup, Padovani bombarded Alessandra with messages and calls, prompting her to report him to the police for stalking. However, his harassment persisted. Neighbors informed local media that he tried to sabotage her car, disconnect her meter from the outside, and even tried to climb onto her balcony.
The judge at the Bologna court, Domenico Pasquariello, took just two hours to hand a sentence down today, and said that his stalking and predatory behaviour, as well as the premeditated nature of the attack, were aggravating factors.
Giuseppe Amato, the Chief Prosecutor of Bologna, had to refute allegations of judicial neglect in connection with the case. He explained that although an inquiry into the stalking complaint was initiated following Alessandra's report on August 1, 2022, progress was impeded due to witnesses being away on holiday.
Amato stated that they exerted their efforts within the constraints, emphasising that Alessandra's report of stalking didn't indicate "situations of a concrete risk of violence, it was just the typical conduct of bothersome stalking."