On Wednesday (October 21), following a trial lasting just over three weeks at Brighton Crown Court, the jury found Italian kitchen porter Francesco D’Agostino, 45, (above) of Stafford Road in Brighton, guilty of killing 21-year-old Serxhio Marku. Fellow kitchen worker, Giuseppe Petriccione, 46, from Arienzo, near Naples in Italy, who also faced a charge of murder, was found not guilty.
Serxhio (below), originally from Albania, was found seriously injured in a flat in Stafford Road, Brighton, in the early hours of September 11, 2019. He was taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital where he was sadly pronounced dead a short while later. He had suffered multiple blunt force and incised wounds, following a sustained attack.
Passing sentence on Thursday morning (October 22), Judge Christine Laing QC said that she was satisfied that this was a pre-planned attack and aggravating features had led to her decision to impose a life sentence with a minimum of 22 years.
She said: “Serxhio was murdered in a savage act, in a brutally sustained attack. The truth is easily illustrated by the victim’s last words heard by neighbours – ‘Why are you doing this?’ – satisfying me that this was an unprovoked attack.”
She observed that D’Agostino’s addiction to crack cocaine played a part and reinforced the inherent risks of such a lifestyle. She expressed her sympathy for the “devastating impact” on Serxhio’s family and said that no sentence would reflect their loss.
Judge Laing continued: “Body worn video from the incident illustrates the work that police officers do on a daily basis, not knowing what they are going to face when they arrive. I want to thank all of the officers who attended the scene.”
Detective Superintendent Alex Geldart, who led the investigation, said: “Our thoughts are with Serxhio’s family and friends. They have lost a much loved son and brother. Throughout our investigation, his family have conducted themselves with utmost dignity, despite their tragic loss. We hope that we have provided some of the answers as to how Serxhio met his death.
“Francesco D’Agostino killed Serxhio Marku in a brutal attack. Despite his claims that his colleague Giuseppe Petriccione was responsible, the court has found him guilty and I thank the jury for their verdict.”
She continued: “From the moment that police were called to attend Stafford Road in the early hours of that fateful morning, this has been a detailed and thorough investigation. I am grateful for the hard work of the investigation team and the courage of witnesses who have supported police enquiries.”