Addict who stabbed grandmother to death is cleared of her murder

Cannabis addict who stabbed his grandmother to death is cleared of her murder on grounds of diminished responsibility

A 19-year-old man who stabbed his grandmother to death has been cleared of her murder on grounds of diminished responsibility.

Pietro Addis killed Sue Addis, 69, at her £1 million home in Brighton on January 7, 2021 by stabbing her 17 times as she lay in the bath. 

A trial at Lewes Crown Court saw the jury accept his defence and find the cannabis addict not guilty of murder.

He had previously pleaded guilty to manslaughter and will now be sentenced on May 5.

The court heard that following a dispute with his father over the fact Pietro was growing cannabis, he had gone to live his grandmother. 

Footage of Addis’s arrest showed him expressionless and giving monotone answers to police

Sue Addis, 69, the owner of Brighton restaurants Donatello and Pinocchio was stabbed to death

The killing happened at Mrs Addis’ home in Brighton on January 7, 2021, during the third lockdown

Mr Addis had been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in 2018 and his legal team claimed he was suffering from a form of psychosis when he walked into his grandmother’s bathroom and stabbed her 17 times while she lay in the tub.

He then changed his clothes and called police to ‘turn himself in’. The 999 call was played to the jury earlier in the trial. In it, he said: ”I’m calling to turn myself in. There’s been a murder.’ 

Mr Addis’ defence team argued that he had been having an attack of paranoid psychosis and was unable to make a rational judgement. 

Tragically the court heard that Mrs Addis had been in the process of looking for help for Mr Addis up to the day he killed her.

After telling friends, she wanted to get him professional help she had used her phone to search psychologist youth in Brighton’, police said. 

She had also researched spaces at The Priory, Ticehurst – a private addiction centre.  

Det Supt Mark Chapman, of the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team, said: ‘Our thoughts remain with the Addis family and loved ones who have behaved with dignity and compassion throughout this harrowing ordeal.’ 

Mr Addis was cleared of murdering his grandmother

The court had previously heard Addis’ behaviour had been deteriorating in the months leading up to the killing.

The teenager had stopped going to college and turning up to work at the family restaurant and he was described as ‘depressed, paranoid, despondent, anxious and worried’.

The court heard Addis’ family felt the deterioration in his behaviour was rooted in his use of both illicit and prescribed drugs. So concerned were his family that they flushed his prescribed ADHD medication down the toilet.

After a heated argument with his stepmother in December 2020, the teenager was sent to live with his grandmother in Withdean, Brighton.

A little over a week later he armed himself with a kitchen knife, entered the bathroom as his grandmother lay naked in the bath and stabbed her to death.

The court heard Addis had problems with controlling his anger and had often resorted to punching walls or himself.

In the days leading up to the alleged murder Mrs Addis told a friend her grandson had been acting ‘strangely’.

He had begun banging on his grandmother’s bedroom door at night telling her he loved her.

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