Andrea Cardinale Given Hospital Order after Deaths of Two Italian Nationals in Thornaby
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Today (Wednesday 25th October), Andrea Cardinale was sentenced to a hospital order and restriction order without limitation of time, following the unlawful killings of Italian nationals 26-year-old Antonino Calabro, known as Nino, and 20-year-old Francesca Di Dio in Thornaby in December 2022.
Cardinale will now be treated at a high security mental health hospital, after medical evidence from three experts agreed that he was suffering from acute paranoid schizophrenia at the time.
Andrea and Nino were friends, had worked together and lived in the same building. Francesca was visiting her partner Nino for the Christmas holidays when they were brutally killed at the hands of Andrea, who was suffering from significant mental health issues.
Our thoughts remain with the families of Nino and Francesca as they continue to try to deal with the aftermath of losing their loved ones.
Detective Chief Inspector Peter Carr, from Cleveland Police Homicide and Major Enquiry Team (HMET) said: “Andrea Cardinale has accepted responsibility for the killings of Antonino (Nino) Calabro and Fransesca Di Dio.
“Today, Nino and Francesca’s families’ can hopefully take some comfort from the fact that Cardinale will now be detained in a place where he can not cause any harm to anyone else.
“Cardinale has been deemed to have been suffering from significant mental impairment at the time of the killings and he will now receive the treatment that he requires in a secure hospital.
“These tragedies have been horrific for both families to endure and will have a lasting impact upon them for the rest of their lives. I would like to praise both for their patience and support throughout the investigation and the judicial process.
“I would also like to thank the officers and staff within the Homicide and Major Enquiry Team who worked on this complex investigation; and our partners who we worked with closely within the British Embassy, Italian Consulate, Interpol, the Crown Prosecution Service and Italian Police.
“Whilst we can never bring back Nino and Francesca, we hope that today’s outcome can provide some form of comfort and our thoughts remain with both of their families at this extremely difficult time.”
The families of both Nino and Francesca issued victim impact statements which were read out in court:
Mother of Francesca Di Dio, Anna Nosi, said:
“The death of my daughter Francesca has completely overturned and destroyed my life, that of my daughter Veronica and my ex-husband, Giuseppe.
“Since her death we can no longer find inner peace or comprehend what happened. We no longer sleep at night because our thoughts are all about our daughter. I often go to the cemetery and talk to my daughter looking at the small picture on the tombstone hoping for her to answer. Besides us, their grandparents, all our relatives and all her friends also miss her daily and do not have an explanation for what happened.
“The entire community of our hometown as well as the community of Antonino’s hometown has been stunned by what happened to Francesca and her fiancé and to this day we still receive moral support from so many people.
“We are completely exhausted, our every thought is of our beloved Francesca who is sorely missed and whose presence will never be filled and replaced by anyone. This terrible bereavement has caused such a lack of hope in us that psychologically we feel devastated and lost.
“We all hope to find comfort in prayer that will help us get through this time of immense grief from which I hope to recover for the sake of our family since a part of me died on the same day that Francesca died.”
Francesca Di Dio
Father of Antonino Calabro (known as Nino), Salvatore Calabro, said:
“I and my family; my wife Salvina and daughter Alessandra, want to first of all thank the British people for the great moral and psychological support that we have received during this terrible time.
“My son Nino leaves behind many people to whom he was very close to in the UK; work colleagues, friends and many beautiful people who we also got to know. As a father, I constantly have the feeling that my heart, in my chest, is slowing its pace, perhaps it is the famous 'heartbreak'. My wife Salvina and daughter Alessandra also tell me that they feel the same.
“For parents, a child is an extension of life, for a sister, a shoulder to lean on and a person to ask for help, but unfortunately this has been denied us. Not having Nino with us anymore, after having cuddled, helped and supported him for 26 years is not easy to overcome, but with a lot of willpower and with the help of our Lord we have to face the future as serenely as possible.
“My wife and I have returned to work, but I am struggling because our daily routine often takes us back to the time when we still had our boy. The evenings are very trying because that was when Nino would video-call us and often now we go to sleep, for many hours, the good times we had with our son flashing before us.”