Woman Jailed For Four Years After Spiking Colleague's Coffee
Mariangela Cerrato, 53, has been jailed for four years after putting benzodiazepine powder into her colleague's cappuccino for nine months.
Cerrato came up the plan after hearing rumours the insurance company they both worked for were considering job cuts, Sky News reports.
The insurance firm, in Bra, Piedmont, said that in 2017, when the incident took place, there were no plans to make people redundant.
In fact, they had been running a recruitment drive at the time.
Cerrato would put the powder into the other woman's daily cappuccino after doing the coffee run.
Cristiano Burdese, the lawyer acting on behalf of the victim told La Stampa: "The drug induces fatigue, headaches, dizziness and muscular pain and my client's work rate slowed after she drank the cappuccino."
The victim is said to have first realised something was wrong she crashed her car into a tree on her way home from work.
She was given a once-over by doctors but they couldn't find anything wrong with her.
The woman then began to suspect it may have had something to do with the coffee, because when she wasn't in work she felt fine.
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The court heard she became suspicious of Cerrato when she started to encourage her to drink coffee at work.
Cerrato is alleged to have told the victim: "Come on, I will bring you a coffee, what harm can it do you?"
She accepted the coffee but took away a sample of it away to be tested.
The results came back to show 'extremely high' levels of benzodiazepine, which is sold under various brand names including Valium and Xanax.
The victim then reported this to the police who followed Cerrato and covertly recorded her putting the powder into the drink.
In court, Cerrato denied the allegations and a lawyer working on her behalf said she will appeal her conviction.
Lawyer Alberto Pantosti said: "Our client is extremely worried by this serious sentence.
"She has always denied the accusation and cannot understand how this absurd story is ruining her life."
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