A 28-year-old Italian footballer, Giovanni Padovani, has been sentenced to life in prison for stalking and fatally beating his ex-girlfriend with a hammer. The former Sancataldese centre-back received the life sentence today for the murder of 56-year-old Alessandra Matteuzzi, which occurred outside her residence on August 23, 2022
While Alessandra was speaking with her sister Stefania on the phone, Padovani subjected her to a brutal attack, using a hammer, his fists, a baseball bat, and eventually a bench he obtained from a nearby garden near her residence on Via Dell’Arcoveggio in Bologna, northern Italy. Padovani had traveled to the city against his team’s advice to stay away from a training session and lay in wait outside her home, initiating a disturbing assault that Stefania could hear during their phone conversation.
She previously told a local TV station: ‘She got out of her car and started screaming, ‘No Giovanni, no, I beg you, help
I was on the phone. I immediately called the [police] who arrived straight away.’
While Alessandra survived the initial attack, she later died in hospital after suffering massive injuries
The pair were together for about a year, according to local media, but had spent most of their time apart as Alessandra lived in Bologna, while Padovani worked in Sicily
Stefania alleged that in January 2022, they had a dispute during which Padovani broke dishes and damaged a light in her Bologna residence. Following their breakup, Padovani continued to harass her with incessant messages and calls, leading her to file a stalking complaint with the police. Despite this, he persisted in his troubling behavior, attempting to sabotage her vehicle, tampering with her meter from outside, and even making an effort to climb onto her balcony.
The judge at the Bologna court, Domenico Pasquariello, took just two hours to hand a sentence down today, and said that his stalking and predatory behaviour, as well as the premeditated nature of the attack, were aggravating factors.
He reportedly tried to claim he was not in a fit state of mind at the time of the attack, telling the court: ‘If I was completely lucid and capable I deserve life in prison. But if you consider that there is something abnormal, anomalous, in the conduct, then no.
‘I wasn’t well, because a person who is well doesn’t kill another human being. I’m in a nightmare, I’m sorry, this is a bigger burden than prison.’
Stefania was reportedly only able to get a single sentence out following the hearing, and burst into tears as she left the courtroom. She said: ‘Alessandra is no longer here, my sister is no longer here.’