Friday, October 30, 2009


This is one of my articles recently published in Italy Magazine. As the events happened in Sicily, I thought that you would enjoy it too:

Last week a Sicilian builder who had been placed under house arrest begged police to take him back to prison instead. 30-year-old Sandro Gambino, a builder from Villabate in Palermo Province, had been arrested when the Carabinieri caught him dumping building materials from his truck and he was subsequently imprisoned. Later the sentence was commuted to house arrest but Gambino found himself arguing so much with his wife, who accused him of not contributing to the upkeep of their two children, that he could not stand being at home. So he fled to the police station and asked the astonished officers to rearrest him and send him back to jail. Gambino’s case was immediately reheard and he was again sentenced to house arrest. The police apparently advised him to kiss and make up.

Gambino is not the only person to have preferred jail to house arrest: Earlier this year 30-year-old Guido Beneventi, a thief from Palermo, left his parents’ home, to which he was supposed to be confined, and ran to a police station where he demanded to be arrested. He said he could no longer tolerate his parents’ lectures regarding his life of crime. He told the arresting officers that they were his “saviours”. And in 2007 Marcello Lazzarra, who was under house arrest for selling counterfeit CDs, called the police and asked them to come and arrest him. Lazzarra, aged 24 at the time and also from Palermo, then went outside to be apprehended for attempted escape. He said that he would rather go to jail than listen to the quarrels between his mother and stepfather.

House arrest is quite common in Italy for minor crimes and may also be used when prisoners are near the end of their term or are too ill to remain in a correctional facility.


jams o donnell said...

I hope that those who decry such punishments as "soft" should take note!

Whispering Walls said...


James Higham said...

Eh? You had me alarmed by your headline.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, jams. Good point. Glad you like it, WW. Sorry, James!

Gledwood said...

Bloody hell ~ whatever this says about those people's houses I hesitate to think!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Me too, Gleds!


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