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Couple murders: Trio to be charged

Three men are to be charged with the murders of an elderly couple who were attacked with a hammer and a knife at their home, police have said.

West Midlands Police said officers had been given permission to charge Wojciech Ostolski, Lieneusz Bartnowski and Macaej Kus with the murders of Guiseppe and Caterina Massaro, who were found dead at their home in Wolverhampton last Friday.

Ostolski, 32, Bartnowski, 21, and 30-year-old Kus, who are all understood to be from Poland, will appear before magistrates in Wolverhampton on Thursday to answer charges of murder and aggravated burglary, a police spokesman said.

The three men, who were living at addresses in Wolverhampton and Birmingham, were arrested late on Sunday and early on Monday by detectives investigating the couple's deaths.

The bodies of Mr Massaro, who was 80, and his 77-year-old wife were found by their granddaughter at their home in Woden Road on Good Friday.

News of the charges against the three men came hours after police confirmed that officers had recovered two televisions which were taken from the couple's terraced home.

Relatives of the victims, who came to England from Italy in the 1960s, have spoken of their devastation at their deaths and revealed that the couple were due to become great-grandparents in the summer.

Their granddaughter, Lindsey Booth, 23, told a news conference at West Midlands Police headquarters that the family, both in England and in Italy, could not "even begin to grasp the evil that took place in their house and how frightened they would have been".

Speaking after details of the charges were announced, Superintendent Mark Payne, from Wolverhampton Police, said: "I would really like to thank everyone who has come forward to help this inquiry.

"Our thoughts and sympathies remain with the Massaro family at this very difficult time."


From Belfast Telegraph