Italian waiter was killed in ‘senseless attack’

An Italian man who was beaten to death in the UK last year had left Italy to start a job as a waiter just days before he was killed, in what proscecutors described as a "senseless attack of brutal, drunken violence".

Italian waiter was killed in 'senseless attack'
Joele Leotta was murdered six days after arriving in the UK. Photo: Facebook

Joele Leotta moved from Lombardy after finding work at an Italian restaurant in Maidstone, east of London. But six days after arriving last October he was beaten to death in his apartment, suffering 100 injuries, while his childhood friend Alex Galbiati was seriously injured.

Speaking in the Maidstone courtroom on Wednesday, where four Lithuanian men are on trial for the murder, Galbiati said he and Leotta had moved to the UK for "a work opportunity we could not find in Italy", Kent Online reported.

The pair were in their apartment above the Vesuvius restaurant, where they had started work just days earlier, when they were attacked on October 20th.

SEE ALSO: Four charged with UK murder of Italian teen

Prosecutors argue that the Lithuanian men, who were also living in the building, attacked Galbiati and Leotta as they wrongly believed that the Italians had complained about them, Kent Online said.

"Without bothering to find out the true state of affairs…They smashed down the door and attacked the two boys,” Prosecutor Philippa McAtasney was quoted as saying in court last week.

She said the Italians were "punched, kicked and hit with whatever came to hand", before Galbiati was able to phone the police.  It was a "senseless attack of brutal, drunken violence" in which he Leotta suffered 100 injuries, she added.

The case has caused shockwaves in Italy, as an increasing number of young people have sought to escape the country’s unemployment crisis by moving to the UK. According to statistics released by the UK government in December, the number of Italians registering to work there jumped by 52 percent over a year.

READ MORE: Surge in the number of Italians moving to the UK

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 Italian police arrest mafia member after three women killed in Rome

Italian police on Saturday arrested a mafia member suspected of killing two alleged Chinese prostitutes and a Colombian sex worker in Rome, local media reported.

 Italian police arrest mafia member after three women killed in Rome

The bodies of the two Chinese women were discovered in a residential building in the upmarket Prati district on Thursday morning, while the body of the South American was found in an apartment in the same neighbourhood an hour later.

All three victims were stabbed, according to Italian media reports.

According to the Corriere della Sera newspaper, footage from surveillance cameras allowed police to identify 51-year-old Giandavide De Pau, who had been prosecuted in the past for drug trafficking and sexual assault.

The suspect is reportedly a member of a mafia clan headed by Michele Senese, who is currently serving a life sentence. De Pau is believed to have been one of Senese’s closest collaborators, acting as his personal driver and handyman.

In 2008 and 2011, the suspect had also spent time in a psychiatric hospital.

It is unknown whether the suspected killer was carrying out a mafia hit or acting alone, possibly under the influence of drugs, which were found at the home of some family members where he is believed to have sought refuge after the police manhunt got underway, Corriere della Sera reported.

Several newspapers had warned of a possible “serial killer” in the Italian capital.

The body of one of the Chinese victims was spotted by a neighbour where it lay, naked on a landing. The woman, believed to be in her 40s, had suffered head and stomach injuries, the newspaper said.

When police entered her apartment, they found the body of the second Chinese woman.

Nobody in the building appeared to have heard the murders take place, according to residents.

“Everybody knew there was a house of ill repute here, I’d see people arriving at 2:00 am, 3:00 am,” a woman who lived in the building told reporters.

The body of the Colombian, who was 65, was found by a friend, Corriere della Sera said.