Waiter jailed for life after mur­der­ing best friend

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE -

AWAITER killed his restau­rant man­ager best friend after a row over drugs, then went on a spend­ing spree us­ing his credit cards.

After ‘squeez­ing the life’ out of Gior­gio Ron­cari, mur­derer Vin­cenzo Ta­vano, of Poyn­ton, stole the well-known restau­rant boss’s Jaguar.

The 33-year-old Ital­ian placed a plas­tic bag over the 61-year-old restau­rant man­ager’s head be­fore tak­ing cash and bank cards from his life­less body.

Over the next few days he used the cards to make a va­ri­ety of pur­chases, rang­ing from a McDon­ald’s meal to a brand new iPhone.

Ta­vano was jailed for life on Friday after ad­mit­ting mur­der at Manch­ester Crown Square Court.

He must serve at least 17 years be­hind bars be­fore he is con­sid­ered for pa­role.

Sen­tenc­ing Ta­vano, Mr Jus­tice Wil­liam Davis said the killer’s re­morse and sor­row had come ‘rather late in the day’.

He added: “This was not a brief loss of tem­per. This was sus­tained over about a minute.”

Ta­vano and Mr Ron­cari, both orig­i­nally from Mi­lan, be­came friends four years ago while both work­ing in the restau­rant trade.

The older man helped Ta­vano find work, al­lowed him to bor­row his car and had be­came a re­spected ‘men­tor’ to his killer, the court heard.

But their friend­ship came to an end when Ta­vano vis­ited Mr Ron­cari at his plush Sal­ford flat on April 15.

Ar­riv­ing at the apart- ment, for a so­cial visit, things quickly be­came heated. Co­caine-ad­dict Ta­vano asked his friend to sell him some drugs but Mr Ron­cari re­fused.

Ta­vano al­ready owed money to Mr Ron­cari, who re­fused to sell to him on credit, the court heard.

In a fit of rage Ta­vano grabbed his friend around the neck and started to choke un­til his eyes rolled back and he dropped to the floor.

The killer later told po­lice he had placed a red plas­tic bag over Mr Ron- cari’s head to see if he was still breath­ing as he was not sure if his friend was dead.

Help­ing him­self to £20 and sev­eral bank cards, Ta­vano also took Mr Ron­cari’s Jaguar from out­side his home.

The car was later dumped on Ch­ester Street in Manch­ester city cen­tre at 4.50am by Ta­vano, who was caught on CCTV tak­ing a taxi home to Poyn­ton.

Within hours Ta­vano had used the bank cards to with­draw £270 from Mr Ron­cari’s ac­count.

Over the next few days he made 18 pur­chases us­ing Mr Ron­cari’s ac­counts in­clud­ing a choco­late bar, a McDon­ald’s meal, a cof­fee ma­chine, a drill and a base­ball cap from TK Maxx.

Mr Ron­cari, a man­ager at the Ital­ian eatery Avalanche, had been fac­ing trial after a raid on his home un­cov­ered a stash of Class A drugs.

Just weeks be­fore his mur­der, Mr Ron­cari ap­peared at Manch­ester Crown Court, where he en­tered not guilty pleas to three charges of pos­sess­ing class A drugs with in­tent to sup­ply.

As a con­di­tion of his bail he was re­quired to re­port to Longsight Po­lice Sta­tion each day.

When he failed to turn up on the week­end of April 15 and 16, po­lice vis­ited his flat the fol­low­ing Monday.

It was only then that Mr Ron­cari’s body was dis­cov­ered and a mur­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion was launched.

After trac­ing on­line pur­chases which had been col­lected by Ta­vano us­ing the bank cards, po­lice also tracked him on CCTV buy­ing items with Mr Ron­cari’s bank card.

Just days be­fore the mur­der, Ta­vano had been sen­tenced for pos­ses­sion of co­caine and a base­ball bat and was ar­rested while on com­mu­nity ser­vice on April 25.

He told of­fi­cers Mr Ron­cari was a ‘kind man, a sweet man’ and a good friend who would lend him his bank cards be­cause he knew he liked to spend money.

He ini­tially told de­tec­tives his friend was ‘alive and well’ when he had left his flat on Friday night.

But he later ad­mit­ted they had ar­gued and he had grabbed Mr Ron­cari around the neck, chok­ing him. He in­sisted he had not in­tended to kill him.

An­drew Thomas, de­fend­ing, said former street cleaner Ta­vano is ‘truly sorry’ and had lived a ‘blame­less life’ un­til re­cently.

The bar­ris­ter said Ta­vano had been help­ing his friend to im­port and sell wine and al­most all his in­come came from him.

“He did not in­tend to kill Mr Ron­cari but he ac­cepts that in his anger he in­tended re­ally se­ri­ous harm,” he added.

Ta­vano, of Park Lane, Poyn­ton, ad­mit­ted mur­der. Sen­tenc­ing him to life, Mr Jus­tice Davis said: “The man you killed was a good friend of yours.

“He was a man who was re­spected by friends and fam­ily and did a great deal of good for the com­mu­nity.

“You say you are truly sorry, not least be­cause he was such a good friend.

“On a visit to his home you asked him for dugs and be­cause you had not the means to pay, he re­fused.

“In­stead you be­gan to stran­gle him and you ac­cept it was about a minute that you were squeez­ing the life out of him.

“Hav­ing killed him and put a plas­tic bag over his head you went through his flat and stole what you could.

“In­stead of griev­ing or seek­ing as­sis­tance, you gath­ered up his bank cards and set about fleec­ing his bank and credit card ac­counts and spent about a week do­ing so.

“This leads me to be­lieve that the re­morse and sor­row you feel has come rather late in the day.”

Se­nior In­ves­ti­gat­ing Of­fi­cer Dun­can Thorpe of Greater Manch­ester Po­lice’s Ma­jor In­ci­dent Sup­port Unit, said: “Ta­vano’s anger fu­elled his ac­tions that night, tak­ing a man’s life over a dis­pute.

“The im­moral and op­por­tunist be­hav­iour he dis­played after he mur­dered a man proves there is no place bet­ter for him than be­hind bars.

“Gior­gio was a well-liked and pop­u­lar man in Sal­ford and will be ter­ri­bly missed.

“My thoughts re­main with his fam­ily and friends at this time.”

Vin­cenzo Ta­vano killed Gior­gio Ron­cari after a row over drugs

Gior­gio Ron­cari

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.