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Homeless man sentenced to ‘house arrest’ in Milan

  • @michael2day

A serial offender has been sentenced to house arrest by a Milan court – even though he is homeless.

At dusk every evening police arrive at the same spot, 22 Via Vittor Pisani, in front of the city’s Stazione Centrale, to ensure 48-year-old convict Domenico Codispoti is tucked up in – or, in the sweltering mid-summer heat, on – his sleeping bag on the pavement.

Codispoti, whose criminal record includes attempted robbery, petty theft and drug dealing, is obliged to stay put until 7am the next morning. “I have always done my stealing at night,” he said. “That’s why the court gave me this sentence. Since I don’t have a house, there was no other solution. During the night I can’t move.”

The unusual form of incarceration was first imposed on Codispoti in 2006, when he was sentenced to two years of surveillance and house arrest. But following further convictions, his sentence has been extended. He has now been ordered to sleep on the same bit of pavement until April next year.

“Once I went off to urinate,” he told La Stampa newspaper, “but a police patrol arrived and stopped me.” He was accused of trying to escape house arrest and his sentence extended.

“I asked to go to jail,” he said. “At least there is a bed, a hot meal, and water to wash.  But I’m not allowed.”

Codispoti once ran a bar in Tolmezzo, in the remote north-east Friuli area of Italy. But after becoming addicted to drugs he lost his job and came to Milan as a vagrant and began a life of petty crime.