The Malta Independent 5 June 2023, Monday
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Court: ‘Serial Killer’ gets life

Malta Independent Thursday, 24 June 2010, 00:00 Last update: about 10 years ago

A convicted murderer described by Mr Justice Joseph Galea Debono as a “serial killer” was jailed for life yesterday afternoon, after a panel of jurors found him guilty, by eight votes to one, of murder and theft in a case that dates back to 1984.

It was the last time Mr Justice Galea Debono presided a trial by jury, since he turns 65 (which is judges’ retirement age in Malta) next month.

Salvatore sive Silvio Mangion, 45, of Zejtun, is already serving time in prison for another murder. He is the 14th person jailed for life in Malta since 1964, and it was the sixth life sentence that Mr Justice Galea Debono handed down during the eight years he served as judge.

Mangion is not the first “serial killer” to have been convicted in Malta, but he is the first Maltese considered to be a serial killer.

In a recent interview with sister newspaper The Malta Independent on Sunday, police inspector Chris Pullicino, the head of the homicide squad referred to the case of two Tunisians who had been found guilty of killing five people between 2 and 18 February 1988. They are serving life imprisonment at the Corradino Correctional Facility.

The court said Mangion had “butchered” 54-year-old Rozina Zammit, who lived by herself in her house in Safi.

He had been monitoring her movements for a few weeks and one evening, on 8 February, 1984, when she was on her way home from Mass, he followed her to her house.

Mangion had told the police that he knocked at her door and when she opened, he pushed her backwards, and as she resisted him and started screaming, he stabbed her 37 times.

She tried following him, but fell to the ground as he searched her house, and he had made away with an envelope containing Lm200 (€465.87). Family members had found her body in a pool of blood the following day.

This was the second murder of which Mangion has been found guilty. In 2001, he was given a 21-year jail term for the murder of a neighbour, Francis Caruana, and the attempted murder of Francis Caruana’s wife in a theft attempt in 1998. He is also expected to stand trial over the 1986 murder of Maria Stella Magrin.

Handing down judgement, Mr Justice Galea Debono said Mangion is a big threat to society and cannot be trusted. He added that the prison administration has a huge responsibility to keep him under constant supervision.

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