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CRIME

Delusional jealousy is a crime: top Italian court

Partners who manifest extreme jealous behaviour towards their other half are guilty of mistreatment, Italy’s highest court of appeal has said.

Delusional jealousy is a crime: top Italian court
The man's jealous behaviour included reading his wife's messages. Jealous man: Shutterstock

Italy’s Court of Cassation on Thursday overturned the acquittal of a Sicilian man for mistreating his wife.

The husband, who is from Sicily, allegedly suffered from “morbid jealousy”, also known as “delusional jealousy”, a psychological disorder in which a person wrongly believes their spouse or sexual partner is being unfaithful without having any real proof to back up their claim.

His jealous behaviour included constantly accusing his wife of being unfaithful, reading her text messages and even demanding that their daughter get a DNA test.

According to the Italian daily Il Fatto Quotidiano, his behaviour was so extreme that his wife even quit her job as a flight attendant because he said the job was “not suited to a respectable woman”.

In May 2014 an appeal’s court in Palermo, Sicily, acquitted the man of mistreating his wife.

But on Thursday Italy’s highest court overturned the acquittal, stating that such behaviour amounted to “psychological harassment”, a crime punishable by law.

“Constantly hassling the spouse with continuous manic and obsessive behaviour inspired by morbid jealousy constitutes mistreatment,” the court said, according to Il Fatto Quotidiano.

His behaviour caused “significant imitations and constraints in her daily life and choices, as well as an intolerable state of anxiety,” according to the court.

The case has now been reopened and the woman’s claims will be evaluated in another hearing, the paper said.

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ROME

Tourist fined €450 for swim in Rome’s Trevi Fountain

With the return of tourism and scorching temperatures, Rome’s fountains are once again attracting visitors hoping to cool off with a midnight swim.

Tourist fined €450 for swim in Rome's Trevi Fountain

In the latest incident, a 26-year-old Spanish man was fined 450 euros after taking a dip in the Trevi Fountain in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Rome’s city police apprehended and fined the man after he was spotted swimming in the 18th-century monument at around 5am, according to local media reports.

READ ALSO: How to keep cool like an Ancient Roman in Italy’s summer heat

Every summer, hapless foreign visitors face fines of hundreds of euros after falling foul of Rome’s strict ban on taking a dip in public fountains – with the city mayor warning tourists that the centuries-old Baroque monuments are “not swimming pools”.

In April, two Dutch tourists also faced fines totalling over €1,000 after their own ill-advised splash in the Trevi Fountain.

The Roman landmark is one of the city’s main magnets for badly-behaved visitors, but tourists have also been fined after cooling off in the Santa Maria fountain in Trastevere, believed to be the city’s oldest. 

Since 2018, anyone caught misbehaving at Rome’s monuments can also face a temporary ‘Daspo’ ban from the area – similar to an ASBO (anti-social behaviour order) in the UK – which allows city police to restrict the movement of people they deem a threat to public order.

READ ALSO: From selfie brawls to midnight swims: Tourists behaving badly at the Trevi Fountain

But a plan to erect a one-metre-high glass and steel barrier around the Trevi fountain to protect it from unruly visitors now appears to have been abandoned after arts and heritage experts called the idea “foolish”.

Fines for swimming in the fountains have been in place since 2015, but this hasn’t stopped determined visitors from recreating scenes from La Dolce Vita and even some locals from taking a dip – – with or without their clothes.

Swimming in the wrong place is just one of the offences regularly committed by visitors, with graffiti and vandalism a common problem at many of Italy’s famous monuments.

READ ALSO: 15 strange ways to get into trouble on holiday in Italy

In Rome alone, this year tourists have made headlines for everything from breaking into the Colosseum to enjoy a drink with a view to driving a car down the Spanish Steps.

Other Italian tourism hotspots, including Florence and Venice, also have varying local rules in place aimed at curbing rowdy behaviour.

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