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article imageTheresa Riggi jailed for 16 years for killing her three children

By Gemma Fox     Apr 27, 2011 in Crime
Edinburgh - A woman who killed her three children and then jumped from the balcony of their Edinburgh home last year has been sentenced to 16 years in jail at the High Court in Glasgow today.
On August 4 last year Theresa Riggi, 47, stabbed her three children, 8-year old twins Augustino (Austin) and Gianluca (Luke) and their 5-year old sister Cecilia eight times each while in the midst of a bitter custody with their father Pasquale.
Theresa and the children had moved from Skene to Edinburgh after her marriage with Pasquale had broken up. The deaths of the children were discovered as emergency services attended what, at the time, was reported as a suspected gas leak at the family's house in Slateford Road in the city.
Mrs Riggi was discovered with serious injuries on the ground outside the property. She spent a lengthy period of time in hospital recovering for her injuries and was arrested and charged with the murder of her three children.
Their deaths left their father Pasquale devastated.
In March Mrs Riggi pled guilty to the culpable homicide of her three children. The original charge of murder had been reduced on grounds of diminished responsibility.
Today at the High Court in Glasgow Lord Bracadale said that although diminished responsibility was accepted Mrs Riggi was still responsible for the deaths of her children.
Lord Bracadale said during his sentencing statement, “The number and nature of the stab wounds to each child is indicative of a truly disturbing degree of violence which, in order to bring about the deaths of three children, must have been sustained over a significant period of time.
“It is difficult to envisage the physical commission of such acts.”
He also explained that psychiatrists had found that Mrs Riggi suffered from personality disorders that impaired her ability to makes decisions but that she was not mentally ill.
Originally sentencing her to 18 years in jail Lord Bracadale reduced the sentence to 16-years because of the guilty plea Mrs Riggi made in March. The sentence will also be back-dated to August last year.
Lord Bracadale also recommended that Californian born Mrs Riggi be deported at the end of her sentence.
Outside the court after sentencing David Sinclair from Victim Support Scotland read out the following statement on behalf of Pasquale Riggi, the children's father.
“I will never forget Austin, Luke and Cecilia. They left ever-lasting impressions on me. I think about them at least 100 times each day. They are in my thoughts when I wake in the morning and before I go to sleep at night. They were such wonderful, energetic, bright and happy children. Those of us who had the pleasure of knowing Cecilia, Luke and Austin looked forward to watching them grow while they independently navigated through their unique life journeys. We are so thankful for the opportunity we had to know and love them and for the memories that we made together, allowing us to cherish them so dearly now.
"The horrific manner in which my children died will leave an indelible mark on the rest of my life. As a father, my natural instincts were geared toward safeguarding my children from the dangers of this world. It pains me to the core that I was unable to protect them from the selfish, brutal and murderous acts that ended their lives so unfairly on August 4, 2010. There is no justification for this heinous crime, repeated three times. Or is there any sentence that can provide justice for the overwhelming loss of three lives and the subsequent painful grief and devastation caused to surviving family and friends alike.
"My family and I wish to thank all those who have provided, and continue to provide, tremendous support. While recognising the media interest in this case, I request that the media give me and my family the privacy to move on with our lives. I will not be answering any further questions, and the only point of contact for the media will be through David Sinclair at Victim Support Scotland, which has been generous in its support of me and my family as victims of crime.”
More about theresa riggi, Gianluca LukeLuca Riggi, Augustino Riggi Austin, Cecilia Riggi aged 5, Pasquale
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