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Undated Grampian Police handout photo of Theresa Riggi. whui
Undated Grampian Police handout photo of Theresa Riggi. whui
Image: Grampian Police/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Mother sentenced to 16 years for killing three children

Theresa Riggi admitted killing her three young children in August 2010 and to trying to cover her actions with a gas explosion.
Apr 27th 2011, 3:41 PM 1,538 0

AN AMERICAN WOMAN who admitted killing her three children at their home in Edinburgh, Scotland, has been sentenced to serve 16 years in prison.

Last month, Theresa Riggi, 47, confessed to the ‘culpable homicide’ of her twin sons Austin and Luke, 8, and daughter Cecilia, 5, on 4 August 2010.

The children’s bodies were discovered at their flat after a suspected gas explosion. Although the explosion was initially thought to have been an accident, Riggi was subsequently charged with tampering with the gas cooker. She later admitted to stabbing the children to death and attempting to cover that up with an explosion.

Riggi had jumped from the balcony at the time of the explosion, but was saved from serious injury by a passing neighbour who intentionally broke her fall. She had also suffered stab wounds and received hospital treatment.

Her trial heard that she was engaged in a difficult legal action with her estranged husband Pasquale Riggi over the children’s custody.

The Eastern Daily Press reports today that the sentencing judge said Riggi’s actions had caused a “devastating family tragedy” and left the children’s father bereft.

“And you, who had a genuine but abnormal and possessive love of your children have lost them and are brought to this sorry pass”, the judge said.

Riggi was sentenced to 18 years, but this was reduced because of her early plea. Her time in prison will be backdated to when she was taken into custody last August.

In a statement read out today, Pasquale Riggi said that the “horrific manner” of his children’s death would leave an “indelible mark” for the rest of his life, the BBC reports.

Riggi said: “There is no justification for this heinous crime, repeated three times, nor is there any sentence that can provide justice for the overwhelming loss of three lives and the subsequent painful grief and devastation caused to surviving family and friends.”

[caption id="attachment_127445" align="alignnone" width="511" caption="Undated composite of a Grampian Police handout photo of (left to right) Austin, 8, Cecilia, 5, and Luke Riggi, 8. (Grampian Police/PA Wire)"][/caption]

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Susan Ryan

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