A British woman found murdered in her Italian dream home had been staying at a friend’s house after suspecting her partner of having an affair.
Prosecution papers in Italy detail how tragic Michele Faiers, 66, was also brutally attacked by her partner Michael Whitbread, 74, after a furious row between the couple just weeks before she died.
The attack left her ‘covered in bruises’ and ‘fearing for her life’ according to testimony from her close friend Petrina Keay – who later found her lifeless body at her home in Italy.
Michele, a mother-of-three, was discovered last month, stabbed seven times in the back, dressed only in her underwear, on the floor of the home she shared with retired IT consultant Whitbread.
Her body was in the first-floor bedroom, covered by a sheet and had just her feet sticking out from under it, police sources told MailOnline.
According to the case file a pair of men’s boxers covered in blood were also found at the scene in the picturesque hamlet of Verratti near Chieti on Italy’s Adriatic coast where the couple lived.
Prosecution papers in Italy detail how tragic Michele Faiers, 66, was also brutally attacked by her partner Michael Whitbread, 74
The home of Michelle Faiers & Michael Whitbread in Verratti, Italy, where Michele was found dead
A house in Leicestershire where Whitbread was arrested
Police have been told that Michele ‘doubted her partner’s fidelity’, and that she was ‘thinking of leaving him and going back to England’.
She is said to have become ‘upset and suspicious’ about him after she saw him slap a female friend on the bottom at a New Year’s Eve party.
According to the police file the woman is a retired British company director, aged 62, who is a divorced mother of two originally from Bath and who moved to Italy several years ago to start a new life with her partner, a former postman from Surrey.
MailOnline is not naming the woman and her partner.
The prosecution file reveals Michele confided in Petrina her doubts about Whitbread and was forced to sleep at her home for a week at the beginning of October after a violent row with him left her ‘covered in bruises’.
Petrina told detectives the ‘furious fight’ between Michele and Whitbread, had left her friend ‘fearing for her life’ and she had opened up to her about the bitter relationship in the days leading up to her death.
Michele was found dead on November 1 when Petrina called round, after becoming worried when she failed to return messages and found her lifeless in the bedroom.
Police have established she was killed four days earlier and Whitbread was held by British police in Shepshed near Loughborough, Leicestershire, after driving across Italy, Switzerland and France.
He was arrested at his daughter’s house – just hours after Michele was found – and she is believed to have alerted police he was at her home after reading reports of the death on MailOnline.
Whitbread was described by neighbours to police as ‘always a bit tipsy’ while Michele was said to be ‘calm and serene’.
The day before Michele was killed, Whitbread sent a message to the partner of the woman whose bottom he slapped, confessing that they ‘had had sex together’.
But he doubted the veracity and replied asking to meet Whitbread to clear the air but he answered there was ‘no point as there was nothing to clear up and it happened’.
The following day – after Michelle had been stabbed to death – bizarrely Whitbread sent another message retracting what he had said and then a day later he sent a similar text.
However, by this time, police had established through CCTV at the couple’s home, that Whitbread had left in the early hours of October 29 in their Jeep Compass and began the 1,000 mile drive to the UK.
Traffic cameras picked him up crossing from Italy into Switzerland near Lake Maggiore at 4pm that afternoon, while his last cell phone ping was earlier that afternoon from nearby Como.
The incident has left the 100 expats who live in the area totally shocked and despite Whitbread’s supposed affair being common knowledge, unsurprisingly no one will speak.
Petrina has refused to comment on the report and placed a sign on her gate in English and Italian asking not to be disturbed.
Police have been told that Michele ‘doubted her partner’s fidelity’, and that she was ‘thinking of leaving him and going back to England’
Faiers and Whitbread’s Italian home is seen cordoned off by police
General view of the home of Michelle Faiers & Michael Whitbread in Verratti, Italy
CCTV footage seized from the house shows Michele returning there on October 28 after meeting Petrina and after that the only person seen leaving or entering was Whitbread.
Then after he left on October 29 the next person to appear was Petrina early on the morning of November 1 when she made the horrific discovery.
One local told MailOnline: ‘Apparently the tension between Michael and Michele was common knowledge between other British people living here.
‘Michele had told a few people about it and after one nasty attack stayed with one of her friends for a week as she was in such a bad way.
‘She was covered in bruises and was really scared for her life, he may have come across meek and mild but after a drink he had a nasty temper.
‘Things all started at a New Year’s Eve party where Michael slapped another British woman’s bottom and Michele wasn’t very happy, she got jealous and had a go at him.
‘It led to tension between this couple and them and they stopped seeing each other and avoided each other at communal functions.
‘The fact he was supposed to be having an affair with this woman was common knowledge and it had got to the point where Michele just wasn’t having it and wanted to go back to England to be with her family.
‘She’d been there in September for a wedding and came back talking about what a lovely time she’d had and that she was determined to move back but sadly it wasn’t to be.’
Whitbread is currently on remand in Wandsworth prison and is facing extradition proceedings to Italy and at his first appearance refused to agree to being sent back.
Italian police say they are not looking for anyone else in connection with Michele’s death and a full extradition hearing is expected to take place in February.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk