Edinburgh woman who ripped out man's testicle with teeth avoids jail
At Edinburgh Sheriff Court today Nunzia Del Viscio of Murchie Crescent, Edinburgh, was placed on a Restriction of Liberty Order to stay in her home between 10 pm and 6 am for six months and ordered to pay her victim compensation. At her trial, the 43-year-old claimed she had been acting in self-defence, but was found guilty of assaulting 44-year old Marcello Palma at his home in Lauriston Terrace on 23 May last year.
Sentence had been deferred for reports.
Police officers were called to the property by the Ambulance Service, who had received a 999 call from the victim and they told the police that a male had a testicle ripped off by a female for refusing to have a threesome.
Officers found Del Viscio outside the flat with blood on her teeth and face. She had injuries to her eyes and bruising on her face.
She told the officers: “He hit me and I grabbed his balls”. The police described Palma as being “fairly distraught”, with a bedroom in a state of disarray and pools of blood on the floor.
Sheriff Peter McCormack heard those involved in the incident were Italian nationals, all working in restaurants in Edinburgh and that they had met up after work in a nightclub. All had been drinking and Del Viscio admitted to having taken some drugs in the toilet.
When the nightclub closed, Del Viscio, Palma, Massimo Torrice and Luisa Bragaglia, went in a taxi to Palma’s flat. Palma said the atmosphere was lovely: “We were happy to be together” he said, adding: “We went back to the flat to keep the night going”. Asked what he thought was going to happen, he replied: “sexual relations”. He and Massimo were friends, both from Cassino, and he (Palma) had been in a sexual relationship with Del Viscio. When they got to the house, however, he and Luisa went to one bedroom and Massimo and Del Viscio into another.
At about 4 am, he said, Del Viscio came into his bedroom naked, jumped on the bed and said she wanted a threesome. He said “No” and she began screaming saying that his friend was no good in bed.
Del Viscio, he said, went into the bedroom where she had been with Massimo and began “destroying it”.
He told her to calm down and get out of his flat. “I took her clothes and threw them at her” he said. “We were insulting each other and she came against me and bit my left testicle. I threw two or three punches and had a finger in her eye to push her away. She drew her head back and my testicle came out”.
He said he tried to staunch the flow of blood with a towel and called for an ambulance. He was taken to the Royal Infirmary where his testicle was put back into the scrotum and 15 stitches inserted.
Defence solicitor, Philip Templeton, said photographs showed injuries to his client’s eyes and face and asked Palma if he had caused them. “Yes” said Palma, “I was trying to stop her biting my testicle”.
Massimo Torrice said Palma and Del Viscio were both shouting when they came into the room and ended up on the floor struggling with each other. He went to the bathroom, got dressed and as he was going out of the flat, saw Palma walking towards him with his hands on his genitals and blood coming out. “He said ‘Help me, Help me, and I said I didn’t want to get involved”. “The last thing I saw was Marcello on the bed and Luisa, with a towel, trying to stop the bleeding”.
Del Viscio told Sheriff McCormack she had been drinking vodka during the evening and taken drugs in the toilet of the nightclub. Her solicitor asked her how was her memory of the latter part of the evening and she replied: “There are things I can’t remember”. In court today, Mr Templeton said the Social Work Report put his client as at low risk of re-offending, that she led an otherwise productive life with a good record of employment and what had happened had been caused by alcohol and drugs.
Sentencing Del Viscio, Sheriff McCormack commented that the Social Work Report had not addressed the question of custody, which, he said: “is surprising given the very serious nature of the assault”. However, he added, Del Viscio had no previous convictions and there was a background of her having taken alcohol, cocaine and a mixture of unknown drugs in the nightclub. The curfew, he said, would prevent her from indulging in such conduct late at night.
As for the compensation for Mr Palma, Sheriff McCormack told her: “I would have made an order for a much greater amount, in four figures, had you had reasonable means to pay, but given your circumstances and resources, I will restrict the compensation to £500 to be paid at £50 a month”.