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Supreme court upholds life sentence for Nigerian man who killed 18-year-old girl in Italy

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The Supreme Court of Cassation in Rome, Italy, has upheld the life term handed to a Nigerian man, Innocent Oseghale for killing and cutting up 18-year-old girl, Pamela Mastropietro.


39-year-old Oseghale killed Mastropietro on January 30, 2018 in the countryside outside at Pollenza, near Macerata in Marche.

Oseghale was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2019 after being found guilty of murder, sexual assault and destruction of Pamela’s body.

The Nigerian appealed against part of his conviction for rape, claiming he never had sex with the victim before killing her.

On Tuesday, January 23, 2024, the Court of Cassation of Rome definitively put an end to the legal matter by sentencing Oseghale to life imprisonment for murder aggravated by sexual violence, destruction and concealment of a corpse.

In reality, the Supreme Court had already ruled in favor of murder and concealment of a corpse. With Tuesday’s sentence, the judges of the Supreme Court, after a referral to the appeal, established that there was also sexual violence.

“It’s what I’ve been waiting for for six years. That’s what I hoped for. But the battle doesn’t end here,” Alessandra Verni, Pamela’s mother said after the ruling.

“You spent six years chasing justice in the courtrooms of Macerata, Ancona, Rome, Perugia and then Rome again. A painful result that prolonged the pain and agony but we have reached the right conclusion.” This was stated by Marco Valerio Verni, the family’s lawyer and the victim’s uncle.

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“I’ve always said that there are other people responsible. As far as we are allowed, we will continue to seek the truth. The conviction, hypothetically speaking, could lead Oseghale to name any accomplices,” he added.

Alessandra Verni then showed a shirt with a photo of her daughter that she has been wearing for the past six years in memory of her daughter.

“I have been wearing for six years. I will wear it again next January 30th, the date on which the girl was killed. On the occasion of the torchlight procession in memory of my daughter in Piazza Re di Roma after which I will move on”. she said

The story began in Rome when Pamela, in October 2017, moved to a therapeutic community in Macerata. The girl had a borderline personality, with drug and alcohol addictions.

On 29 January 2018 she left the community with the intention of returning to Rome but never arrived.

Having left the community, she came across a man who, in exchange for sexual intercourse, would accompany her to the station but it was too late to take the train to the capital.

Another man, a taxi driver, offered her hospitality, also in exchange for sex. The next day, in the Diaz gardens in Macerata, Pamela ran into the drug dealer Oseghale.

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From that moment on, all traces of her were lost and her body was found on January 30, terribly mutilated, closed in two trolleys in Via dell’Industria.

According to what was reconstructed during the investigation, it was the drug dealer who killed her, 33 years old at the time, after drugging her with heroin and raping her.

Then, to get rid of her body, he dismembered her and threw her away in that way.

For this reason, the Assize Court of Macerata and the Court of Appeal of Ancona had sentenced him to life imprisonment, but the Cassation, while confirming the charge of voluntary homicide, did not consider the previous sentences regarding the violence sufficiently motivated, sexual understanding as a motive for the murder.

An aspect that would have made the difference between life imprisonment and a possible 30-year sentence.

This is why, on the orders of the Palazzaccio judges, in February last year they returned to a second appeal court, that of Perugia, which confirmed the life sentence for murder and sexual violence.

On Tuesday January 23, the Supreme Court ruled that Oseghale deserves life in prison.

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