Brit murder suspect, 74, appears in court after ‘stabbing wife to death at their home in Italy’

Brit murder suspect, 74, appears in court after ‘stabbing wife to death at their home in Italy’

A BRITISH man has appeared in court after being arrested on suspicion of murdering a woman in Italy.

Michele Faiers, 66, was found dead at her home near the small town of Casoli in the Abruzzo region of Italy on Wednesday.

FacebookMichele Faiers, 66, and Michael Whitbread, 74[/caption]

GettyThe small village of Casoli[/caption]

Ashley KirkLeicestershire Police previously said a suspect was arrested in Shepshed, Leicestershire on Wednesday.[/caption]

FacebookThe British grandmother was discovered lying in blood with seven stab wounds[/caption]

Michael Whitbread, a retired driving instructor and shop owner, was arrested at his daughter’s home in England later that day.

He was identified as the prime suspect shortly after the body of his partner Michele, a beloved grandmother, was discovered by a friend lying in blood with seven stab wounds.

Italian authorities requested international help after learning Whitbread probably left the country by car.

The 74-year-old appeared in Westminster Magistrates’ Court for extradition proceedings on Saturday and was asked if he consented to be extradited to Italy, where he now lives.

He said he did not, and was ordered to appear in custody at the same court on November 9 for a preliminary hearing.

Darren Watts for the Italian legal authorities told the court: “This is a murder of the requested person’s partner.

“He arrived in the UK on Wednesday and was arrested.”

The court heard Whitbread is a grandfather with close family connections.

He was in the UK to visit family and had planned to return to Italy.

District judge John Zani made clear on Saturday that “this is an accusation” and the grandfather had not been convicted of anything.

He told Whitbread: “The Italian authorities wish you to return to face trial there because it is a very serious allegation.

“In the event you are convicted, a very lengthy sentence of imprisonment would almost be inevitable.”

The judge added: “You live in Italy and say that you were visiting family.

“I cannot ignore the fact that your visit here happened soon after the allegation of murder happened but a few days ago.”

He said the court is “working towards a full hearing” at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on February 26 next year.

Leicestershire Police previously said a suspect was arrested in Shepshed, Leicestershire on Wednesday.

A force spokesman said: “The man, who was arrested in Shepshed on Wednesday night, has not been charged with a criminal offence. The hearing is listed as part of the extradition process.

“Detectives from the East Midlands Special Operations Unit major crime team are continuing to liaise with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, the extradition team in the CPS’s Serious Economic and Organised Crime and International Directorate and Italian authorities regarding the incident.”

Michele and Whitbread ran a scubadiving school in Torquay, Devlon but sold up and retired to Italy in 2015.

The 66-year-old grandmother had only recently visited the UK for her daughter’s wedding, according to her former neighbours.

Neighbours at her old home in Torquay told The Sun they remembered her as a “lovely person”.

She and Whitbread were described as private by locals who said they would often see them taking walks with their three dogs.

Michele had only recently visited the UK for her daughter’s wedding in SeptemberFacebook

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