Vito Difina guilty of his father's manslaughter

01/08/2013

A Nottingham man who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia has been convicted of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility for killing his father, a crime described by East Midlands Chief Crown Prosecutor Steve Chappell as 'a double tragedy for his family'.

On 10 September 2012, Vito Difina attacked his father, Guiseppe, stabbing him several times. Guiseppe had just returned from giving Vito a lift to a local shop when the attack took place.

Steve Chappell, Chief Crown Prosecutor, CPS East Midlands, said: "This case was a double tragedy for the family of Guiseppe Difina. Not only have they had to come to terms with his death, but they also have to live with the knowledge that he was killed by his son, whose actions were influenced by his mental state.

"Vito Difina maintained he was not responsible for stabbing his father. He was found guilty by the jury. The trial took place to prove that he had carried out the stabbing and whether this act constituted murder or manslaughter. During the course of the trial, medical evidence made it clear that this was not a planned or premeditated murder and therefore the jury was asked to determine whether he was guilty of manslaughter on the basis of diminished responsibility due to his illness. I would like to offer my most sincere condolences to Mr Difinas family as they come to terms with their loss."

Vito Difina was given a hospital order under the Mental Health Act in a medium-secure hospital. He can only be released if the Secretary of State for Justice or a tribunal confirms he can be discharged.