Mother child killings 'a tragedy'
The father of three children stabbed to death by their mother has described the loss as an "overwhelming tragedy" after his estranged wife admitted the killings.
Pasquale Riggi said children Austin, Luke and Cecilia would live on in the minds and hearts of him and his family forever.
Eight-year-old twins Austin and Luke and five-year-old Cecilia were killed at their Edinburgh home in August last year.
Appearing at the High Court in Edinburgh, their mother Theresa Riggi, 47, admitted killing them, entering a plea of culpable homicide on the grounds of diminished responsibility. She had originally been charged with murder.
Riggi, who was diagnosed by doctors as suffering from three different personality disorders, and her husband had been involved in legal action over the children at the time.
Alex Prentice QC, prosecuting, said on the evening of August 2, at around 11.30pm, Riggi spoke to her husband on the phone where she accused him of being in collusion with their solicitors and asked if he would take the children away. On being told she "left him no choice", Riggi replied "say goodbye then" and hung up.
Mr Prentice said building manager Derek Knight discovered the bodies of the three children two days later, following a gas explosion at a block of townhouses in Slateford Road, where Riggi was staying in a property rented by a friend.
Donald Findlay QC, defending, said Riggi - who wept audibly during proceedings - had been intent on suicide on the day of the incident. He said she had left a space for herself between the children's bodies, believing their death was the only way of keeping them safe. He said, if possible, "she loved them too much".
Outside the court a statement was read on behalf of Mr Riggi. It said: "Nothing can be said at this or any other time which can mitigate what has happened. I and my extended family loved Austin, Luke and Cecilia dearly and they will live in our minds and hearts forever."
The case was adjourned until April 26 at the High Court in Glasgow, when sentence is expected to be passed.