Drug user jailed over wheelie bin death in Holloway
A drug user who threw the body of a man who had died in an overdose into a wheelie bin has been jailed for 16 months.
Gerardo Rossi, 52, emptied the contents of a neighbour’s green recycling bin and placed the dead body of 23-year-old Italian national Erik San Fillipo inside it sometime between 10 May and 12 May in Holloway this year. He then wheeled the bin up to the overgrown front garden of a disused property and left it there.
Today [Friday, 13 December] Rossi was sentenced to 16 months in jail at Snaresbrook Crown Court, having pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice at an earlier hearing. He was also ordered to serve a further four months to run consecutively for breaching conditions imposed for a previous suspended sentence.
The victim, who had previously worked as a chef in Camden, had been taking drugs at Rossi’s Islington home in the hours before his death.
A neighbour spotted his missing recycling bin and noticed that a person’s legs could be seen protruding from it. He alerted police.
Police noted that all Mr San Fillipo’s identification documents had been removed, causing a delay in identifying him and therefore in his family being notified.
Officers also noticed that the victim was only wearing one trainer. They found the other matching trainer on the back garden wall of Rossi’s home. He was arrested soon after and told police officers ‘I was very scared and didn’t know what to do’.
Gillian Travers, from the CPS, said: “Gerardo Rossi dumped the body of his friend in a wheelie bin and left him in a residential north London street - showing little regard for the dignity of his victim.
“It is a most distressing event for Mr San Fillipo’s family, to lose a loved one, and for the defendant to have shown such little respect by concealing his death.
“Rossi was already in breach of a suspended prison sentence for possession of a bladed article. When he realised that his friend had died, instead of alerting the police as he should have done, he decided to move Mr San Fillipo out of his home to avoid police attending his drug den and investigating him further.
“The prosecution case included compelling evidence including the finding of Mr San Fillipo’s belongings in and around the defendant’s home.
“This was an unusual and sad case but I hope this prosecution provides some comfort to the family of Mr San Fillipo and shows that the CPS will take action in similar circumstances.”
Notes to editors
- Gerardo Rossi [DOB: 09.11.1966] is an Italian national from Holloway in Islington.
- Gillian Travers is a Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS London North.
- A charge of prevention of lawful and decent burial of a dead body was left to lie on file.