Man in court over mutilated woman's murder

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The Independent Online

A man appeared in court today charged with the murder of a mother whose mutilated body was found at her home nearly eight years ago with someone else's hair in her hand.

Heather Barnett, 48, was discovered in the bathroom of her flat in Charminster, Bournemouth, Dorset, in November 2002, by her two children.

Danilo Restivo, 38,from Charminster, Bournemouth, who previously lived in Italy, appeared at Winchester Crown Court for a preliminary hearing.

The case was adjourned and Restivo was remanded in custody by Judge Guy Boney QC until a plea and case management hearing on September 24.

There was no application for bail.

Seamstress Mrs Barnett was discovered by her daughter Caitlin, then 11, and son Terry, 14, with cut hair that did not belong to her found in her hand.

Dorset police had been looking at a potential link between her death and the discovery of the body of 16-year-old Elisa Claps in Potenza, southern Italy, in March.

The schoolgirl disappeared in 1993, and her mummified remains were found in the roof of the Most Holy Trinity Church in Potenza, where she was living.