'Whole life' term for hair fetish killer

A hair fetishist has been given a "whole life" jail sentence for the "depraved" and "callous" murder and mutilation of a mother of two.







Italian national Danilo Restivo was found guilty in just five hours yesterday by a jury at Winchester Crown Court of the murder of Heather Barnett, 48, in 2002.



The 39-year-old was also linked during his trial to the murder of 16-year-old Elisa Claps in Italy in 1993, who was killed using the same "hallmark" method.





The trial heard that Restivo entered the flat of his neighbour Mrs Barnett, in Bournemouth, Dorset, in November 2002 and bludgeoned her with a hammer before cutting her throat.

He then cut off her breasts and left a clump of someone else's hair in her right hand and some of her own underneath her left hand in the carefully planned ritualistic murder considered unique by detectives.



He left the body for Mrs Barnett's children, Caitlin, then 11, and Terry, then 14, to find in the bathroom.



Restivo even claimed he comforted the horrified youngsters as they fled the scene just as he arrived home opposite.



The jury of five women and seven men agreed with the prosecution that the manner of Mrs Barnett's murder was Restivo's "hallmark" and linked the killing to the murder of Elisa, who disappeared in Potenza, Italy, in September 1993, even though he was not charged with it.



Michael Bowes QC, prosecuting, told the court: "The prosecution's case is that the circumstances in which Elisa Claps was killed so closely resemble the circumstances in which Heather Barnett was killed that you can have no doubt that both of the killings must have been the work of one person - that is Danilo Restivo."



Speaking outside court yesterday, Mrs Barnett's sister, Denise Le Voir, said she was a feisty woman with a sense of humour who loved her children very, very much.



"Heather would have been horrified by the cruel and callous way Danilo Restivo designed her murder and mutilation so her children would find her body on return from school."



She called the killer arrogant and said the media spotlight should be on him and not her sister's family.



She said that both the Claps and Barnett families were happy Restivo was now behind bars.



Detective Superintendent Mark Cooper, who the led the investigation, said the inquiry had been "complex and challenging".



"This was a horrendous and brutal murder and I cannot even begin to describe him (Restivo)," he said.









All 12 members of the jury chose to return to court this morning to hear Restivo's sentence.

Some of the jurors wept as they heard the victim impact statements read on behalf of Mrs Barnett's daughter and sister.



Passing sentence, Mr Justice Burnett told Restivo the murder was so serious that no minimum term would be appropriate.



"The seriousness of this offence is exceptionally high - namely the depravity of the killing, the careful planning and preparation, its sexual content and the previous killing of Elisa Claps - drive me to the conclusion that the alternative starting point (for a minimum prison term) of 30 years would not be appropriate.



"I can find no mitigation in this case, none have been advanced on your behalf.



"There is, in my judgment, no minimum period which could be properly set - you will never be released from prison."



Mr Burnett described the crime was of "inhuman depravity", made worse by the fact that Restivo would have known his victim's children would find her body.



He said: "You knew an 11-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy would find their mother butchered on the bathroom floor.



"This feature of the case will haunt those who sat through it.



"Why you picked Heather Barnett as your victim I do not know but it's clear that you did so to satisfy a sadistic, sexual appetite.



"The evidence in this case shows you are a cold, depraved, calculated killer."



Restivo is now subject to a European Arrest Warrant and is expected to be extradited back to Italy - where the case has attracted huge interest - to stand trial for Elisa's murder.

News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
One of the installations in the Reiner Ruthenbeck exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery
artCritics rally to defend Reiner Ruthenbeck's 'Overturned Furniture'
News
John Cleese is promoting his new book
people
News
A-list actresses such as Deepika Padukone get paid a tenth of what their male counterparts make per film
news
News
The Black Friday Vines that will destroy your faith in humanity
i100

Arts and Entertainment
The cast of Downton Abbey in the 2014 Christmas special
TV
News
Robbie Rogers: US former Leeds United footballer, 25, announced he was gay in February 2013, shortly after he left Elland Road. Rogers 'retired' after writing on his blog: 'I'm a soccer player, I'm Christian, and I'm gay.' Has since signed with Los Angeles Galaxy.
peopleUS footballer said he had hoped Michael Sam and Jason Collins coming out might have helped
Arts and Entertainment
Johnny Depp no longer cares if people criticise his movie flops
films
Arts and Entertainment
All in a day's work: the players in the forthcoming 'Posh People: Inside Tatler'
TVGrace Dent thinks we should learn to 'hug a Hooray Henry', because poshness is an accident of birth
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
art

Presents unwrapped, turkey gobbled... it's time to relax

Arts and Entertainment
Convicted art fraudster John Myatt
art

News
The two-year-old said she cut off her fringe because it was getting in her eyes
news
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game