Robbers found guilty of killing woman for her Rolex

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The Independent Online

Two armed robbers were convicted yesterday of murdering the wife of a millionaire during a Rolex robbery outside her luxury home.

The attackers shot Giuseppina Martorana, 43, in August 2000 after following her and her husband home from a shopping trip to Harrods where they bought rings to celebrate their silver wedding anniversary.

Mrs Martorana's Rolex watch was snatched from her wrist as she lay fatally wounded in the road. She died a month after the attack.

Her 18-year-old son, Steven, and his girlfriend, Isabella Agnes, 19, were also shot and injured as they ran from the house at Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, to find out what was happening.

Her husband, Giuseppe, 59, a millionaire businessman, had told St Albans Crown Court that he first noticed the two men after getting out of his BMW on returning home from the shopping trip.

Mr Martorana said: "The next thing I realised somebody was grabbing me from behind. My left arm was grabbed and in a split second I felt my watch coming off my wrist. I heard my wife scream."

He said that he heard a man say: "I've got a gun". As he struggled, he heard a shot being fired and broke free to see his wife fall to the ground as she tried to escape to the house. After attempting to dial 999, Mr Martorana went after the robbers in his car.

When they stopped at a roundabout he accelerated and rammed the back of their car, but the men escaped.

Jason James, 29, and Daniel Whyte, 24, both of West Ealing, west London, were found guilty yesterday of the murder. The jury was sent home for the night after failing to reach verdicts against Whyte on two attempted murder charges.