Italian marriage annulled after wife 'thought about' having an affair

A COURT has annulled an Italian couple's marriage because the wife had "thought about" having an affair although she did not eventually betray her husband.

The couple, who have not been named due to privacy laws, took the case to court after the husband decided to have their marriage annulled through a church court.

He told the tribunal his wife had often talked about having an open marriage, although she had "never put the idea into practice" and the court agreed with him but his wife appealed.

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After being heard in Modena and then Bologna, the case was considered by the Court of Cassation in Rome, Italy's highest judicial authority and it sided with the husband.

In its ruling, judges said: "We fully support the lower court's findings, despite there being no evidence of the woman having relationships with other men."

Under the judgement, the wife will not be entitled to claim maintenance.

The case is believed to establish a precedent in Italian history although it is not the first time the Court of Cassation has aroused controversy.

Ten years ago judges ruled a woman wearing tight jeans could not have been raped as her attacker could not have pulled them down without her help.

In another ruling, judges said "patting or pinching a woman's bottom was OK as long as it was sudden and isolated" and four years ago they said it was acceptable for a married woman to lie to police to cover up an affair.