Doctor stabbed to death

22 June 2017
11:42 CEST+02:00

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Doctor stabbed to death by suspected stalker outside hospital

File photo of an ambulance leaving an Italian hospital. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

A doctor was stabbed to death outside the hospital in which she worked on Wednesday evening, according to Italian media reports which say the woman had previously reported her suspected killer for stalking.

The victim has been named by media as Ester Pasqualoni, a 53-year-old cancer expert and mother of two who died after being stabbed in the throat.

The assault took place in the car park of Sant’Omero hospital at Teramo, Abruzzo in central Italy as Pasqualoni was walking into her car at around 4pm on Wednesday.

One of Pasqualoni’s colleagues, a medic at the hospital’s emergency department, was the first to find her but was unable to save her own life.

“We’ve got an notion of who the killer could be and we are looking for him,” authorities told the Ansa news agency. “It is very probably a person who’d been bothering the sufferer”.

Pasqualoni had allegedly made a complaint to authorities in a stalker, and a friend of the victim said in a Facebook tribute that they had discussed “that evil guy who chased you” many times.

Almost 3.5 million girls in Italian are victims of stalking, based on the most recent statistics from federal statistics agency Istat, but only 22 percent of those report the act or seek help.

Italy has lately stepped up its attempts to tackle gendered violence. Changes pushed in the previous couple of years include the mandatory arrest of those captured in the act of stalking or physical abuse, and a law meaning that, when lodged, legal complaints cannot be removed, and that victims must be kept up to date in their attacker’s legal standing.  

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