Five Italians have been jailed for the gang rape of a British woman in the popular resort of Meta di Sorrento, south of Naples.
The men, who were all employees of a hotel where the woman was staying, set up a WhatsApp group after the rape which they called “Bad Habits”.
They were accused of slipping the 50-year-old Kent woman a date rape drug and then subjecting her to multiple rapes in the Hotel Alimuri on the night of October 6 2016.
They filmed and took photos of the assault and some were identified by tattoos on their bodies.
The woman was on holiday with her 25-year-old daughter, who went to bed early on the night the attack happened and was not targeted by the Italians.
They were sentenced on Friday to prison terms of between four and nine years by a court in the nearby town of Torre Annunziata.
The rapists were named as Gennaro Davide Gargiulo, who was given the heaviest sentence of nine years; Antonino Miniero and Fabio De Virgilio, who were sentenced to eight years; Francesco D’Antonio, who will go to jail for seven years; and Raffaele Regio, who was given a four-year sentence.
The British victim was not in court but had been in “a state of anxiety all day” while awaiting the verdict from a panel of three judges, said Lucilla Longone, her Italian lawyer.
She was “delighted” with the tough sentences handed down, her lawyer said.
When the sentences were read out there was uproar in court, with the defendants’ families shouting and yelling abuse at the judges.
Police officers escorted the judges out of the courthouse through a side entrance as around 30 relatives hurled threats at them.
The woman was allegedly given a date-rape drug in a drink that she accepted from two of the Italians on the last night of her holiday.
The two barmen then took her to a nearby swimming pool and raped her. They then passed her onto the other men, who raped her in a part of the hotel used as staff accommodation.
The men photographed her and later shared the photos on a WhatsApp group that they called “Bad Habits”.
The judges will deliver their “motivazione” or explanation of the guilty verdicts within 90 days, as is customary under Italian law.
Meta di Sorrento is close to Sorrento, a picturesque town which commands views of the Bay of Naples and is a favoured base for exploring the Amalfi Coast, Pompeii and the island of Capri.
When the men were arrested, Costanzo Iaccarino, the head of the local hoteliers’ association, said he was appalled by what had happened.
"We treat our guests with great care and the British, for us, have always been our preferred visitors. We participate in travel fairs in London every year."
Sorrento is so popular with tourists from Britain that one guidebook nicknames it “Eastbourne-on-the-Med”.
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