A Mother, Theresa Riggi, 49 who killed her three children in Edinburgh after a divorce battle has been found dead at Rampton high security prison. She was serving 16 years in prison for the crime, had only been moved recently from a prison in Scotland to the jail in Nottinghamshire.
Riggi had stabbed Austin and Gianluca, both eight, and Cecilia, five – eight times at their second-floor Edinburgh flat in August 2010. She had moved to Edinburgh with her children from Skene, Aberdeenshire, following the break-up of her marriage to the children’s father. Psychiatrists said she suffered from narcissistic, paranoid and histrionic disorders.
She used a different knife to kill each child, following a bitter marriage split from their dad Pasquale. Riggi tried to cover up their deaths with a gas explosion at the flat, before leaping from a balcony. She was treated for her injuries in hospital after falling 40ft from the balcony of the townhouse. She admitted culpable homicide on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
After she was jailed for 16 years in July 2011, Mr Riggi said: “The manner in which my children died will leave an indelible mark on the rest of my life. As a father, my natural instincts were geared towards safeguarding my children from the dangers of this world. It pains me to the core that I was unable to protect them from the selfish, brutal and murderous act that ended their lives so unfairly.”
Judge Lord Bracadale said, “The result of these acts is a devastating family tragedy. The father of the children, Pasquale Riggi, and the wider family have been left utterly bereft by the loss of the children and you, who had a genuine but abnormal and possessive love of your children, have lost them and are brought to this sorry pass.”
He said that while Riggi’s responsibility had been diminished, she was still responsible for her actions. He added, “The effect of the diminished responsibility is to reduce these crimes from what would have been exceptionally wicked crimes of murder to what are still very serious crimes of culpable homicide.”
She was moved to a secure hospital from the all-female Cornton Vale Prison, near Stirling, after reports that she had been attacked in the jail. Riggi was sent to Rampton, in Nottinghamshire, several months ago because it was felt medics there were better placed to treat her.