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Chef allegedly threatened to chop up restaurant owner’s grandchildren after tax row

Pictured is Lombardi's restaurant, on Sheffield Road, Chesterfield.
Pictured is Lombardi's restaurant, on Sheffield Road, Chesterfield.

An angry chef allegedly threatened to kill and rape the daughter of a restaurant business owner and to chop up her children after he had been caught up in a tax row.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Tuesday, January 23, how Gaetano di Matteo, 31, of West Street, Chesterfield, had been working at Lombardi’s, on Sheffield Road, in Chesterfield, when he became snared in an accounting error involving the restaurant.

Becky Allsop, prosecuting, said: “Due to an error of accounting a number of staff received a larger tax bill than they should have done.”

The defendant was cautioned after abusing owner Filippo Lombardi but, according to Mrs Allsop, he received more texts from di Matteo including an insult and six missed calls.

Mrs Allsop added: “Mr Lombardi’s daughter Christina Power went to the restaurant and she answered one of the calls and she was hoping to put di Matteo’s mind at rest in relation to the tax issue but she described that he was immediately aggressive.”

She claimed he stated he was going to kill her father and kill her and rape and disfigure her and chop her children into pieces. Mrs Power stated she was left in fear for her life and her family members’ lives and she moved her children to another address.

The defendant, who is from Palermo, in Italy, pleaded guilty to sending a false message to cause anxiety after the incident on July 28.

John Cavanagh, defending, said: “He accepted he lost his temper and although the conversation only lasted four minutes he accepted he had been very angry and he said things he should not have.”

But Mr Cavanagh added di Matteo could not remember exactly what he had said.

Mr Cavanagh claimed there had been a miscalculation in di Matteo’s tax payments and the HMRC were pursuing him to pay tax. District Judge Andrew Davison, who recognised errors by Lombardi’s accountants, sentenced di Matteo to eight weeks’ custody suspended for 12 months with rehabilitation and 80 hours’ unpaid work. He must pay £250 compensation, a £115 victim surcharge and £85 costs. The defendant received a two-year restraining order.