The wife of an Italian jeweller jailed for 17 years when he killed two robbers has revealed they face financial ruin after they were ordered to pay €300,000 damages.
Mario Roggero, 68, shot the gang after they had burst into his shop, tied his daughter up in a terrifying raid and threatened to kill his wife Mariangela in April 2021.
Roggero chased after the three-strong gang after they fled with watches and jewellery and shot Andrea Spinelli and Giuseppe Mazzarino dead, while the third was injured and later arrested.
Speaking to an Italian TV following the outcry over the harsh sentence by Judge Alberto Giannone, for defending his family, Mariangela said: ‘This sentence is absurd. Its incomprehensible.
‘But now we have to think at the financial impact of this sentence because apart from being found guilty we also face going bust.
Footage from inside the store shows his daughter with her hands tied behind her back
Mario Roggero shot at three thieves outside his store in Grinzane Cavour on April 28, 2021
At his trial Mr Ruggero said he feared the men had kidnapped his wife
Mario Roggero, (pictured) shot and killed two robbers in Grinzane Cavour on April 28, 2021
‘We have to find €300,000 in compensation to give the families of the victims. We’ve had to sell an apartment Mario inherited from his mother and get a loan from the bank.
‘We need to get as many people behind us as possible. I just don’t know how we are going to carry on.’
Roggero was sentenced earlier this week by a court in Asti near Turin after being convicted of murdering the two robbers in the town Grinzane Cavour – prosecutors had in fact called for 14 years but the judge gave him more.
CCTV caught the dramatic moment he dashed after them armed with the gun and shot them – and the sentence sparked outrage from Italy’s Deputy PM Matteo Salvini who expressed his ‘full solidarity’.
Mariangela added: ‘People have been showing us so much support. I’m not on social media but I don’t how so many people have been able to find us and give their support.
‘So far, we have raised €11,000 to help pay for the damages Mario has been ordered to pay but I live with the terror of seeing years of hard work going up in smoke.
‘This sentence isn’t just for Mario but for all of us. Those who will pay will be our children and our grandchildren.’
The robbers threatened the jeweller and his family with death, and tied up his daughter
‘I’m sorry something like this happened, it’s very bad, but it’s either me or them’, said Roggero after the attempted robbery
Mr Ruggero was seen in the carpark after shooting at three thieves
But Mariangela dismissed the help of politicians and added: ‘Frankly, I don’t believe in them, or any of the institutions and above all in justice which her is on the side of criminals and not honest citizens.
‘I’ve always gone to vote, encouraged by Mario, but now that chapter is closed. I thank those who are supporting us but I still feel helpless and disenchanted.’
She went on: ‘I’m trying to keep a balance, as I have always done in our family.
‘The children are always saying: “Mum if it wasn’t for you the place would fall down.”
‘But it’s a heavy burden to carry – and it’s not the only time we have been robbed. It happened first in 2015 and since then we have been living a nightmare.
‘I think about the two people who died, at the destiny that dragged them into this sad story and maybe it’s all part of a greater design.’
When asked what she would like to tell the judge, Mariangela, 67, said: ‘That they didn’t understand the situation, that they handed down a heavy sentence that wasn’t right for this case.
‘When Mario shot, he did so because he was forced to, he didn’t intend to do it. In his mind he was just defending us. It was instincts that and made him act like that.
‘Maybe he was thinking back to the other times we have been robbed, maybe it was a little excessive self-defence, but he didn’t intend to do it.’
The family intend to appeal the sentence and verdict.