A British woman found murdered in her dream home in Italy had stayed at a friend’s house after suspecting her partner was having an affair.
Prosecutors’ documents in Italy detail how tragically Michele Faiers, 66, was also brutally attacked by her partner Michael Whitbread, 74, after a furious row between the couple just weeks before she died.
The attack left her “covered in bruises” and “fearing for her life,” according to the testimony of her close friend Petrina Keay, who later found her lifeless body at her home in Italy.
Mother-of-three Michele was discovered last month stabbed seven times in the back, wearing only her underwear, on the floor of the house she shared with retired IT consultant Whitbread.
His body was in the first-floor bedroom, covered by a sheet with only his feet sticking out from underneath, police sources told MailOnline.
According to the case file, a pair of men’s boxers covered in blood were also found at the scene in the picturesque village of Verratti, near Chieti on Italy’s Adriatic coast, where the couple lived.
Prosecutors’ documents in Italy detail how Michele Faiers, 66, was also brutally attacked by her partner Michael Whitbread, 74.
The home of Michelle Faiers and Michael Whitbread in Verratti, Italy, where Michele was found dead
Police have been informed that Michele “doubted her partner’s fidelity” and was “thinking about leaving him and returning to England.”
Police have been told that Michele “doubted her partner’s fidelity” and was “thinking about leaving him and returning to England”.
She is said to have become upset and suspicious of him after seeing him slap a friend’s butt at a New Year’s Eve party.
According to the police file, the woman is a retired British company director, 62 years old, divorced and mother of two, originally from Bath and who moved to Italy several years ago to start a new life with her partner, a former postman. of Surrey.
MailOnline does not name the woman or her partner.
The prosecution file reveals that Michele confided in Petrina about her doubts about Whitbread and was forced to sleep at his house for a week in early October after a violent fight with him left her “covered in bruises”.
Petrina told detectives that the “furious fight” between Michele and Whitbread had left her friend “fearing for her life” and she had opened up to her about the bitter relationship in the days before her death.
Michele was found dead on November 1 when Petrina called, after becoming concerned when she didn’t respond to messages and found her dead in the bedroom.
Police have established that she was murdered four days earlier and that Whitbread was stopped by British police in Shepshed, near Loughborough, Leicestershire, after driving through Italy, Switzerland and France.
He was arrested at his daughter’s home just hours after Michele was found, and it is believed she alerted police he was at her home after reading reports of the death on MailOnline.
Police neighbors described Whitbread as “always a little drunk”, while Michele was said to be “calm and collected”.
The day before Michele was murdered, Whitbread sent a message to the partner of the woman he slapped, confessing that they “had had sex together.”
But she doubted the veracity and responded by asking to meet Whitbread to clear things up, but he replied that there was “no point as there was nothing to clear up and it happened”.
The next day, after Michelle was stabbed to death, Whitbread strangely sent another message retracting what he had said, and then a day later sent a similar text message.
However, by that time, police had established via CCTV at the couple’s home that Whitbread had left in the early hours of October 29 in his Jeep Compass and had begun the 1,000-mile journey to the UK. .
Traffic cameras caught him crossing from Italy into Switzerland near Lake Maggiore at 4pm that afternoon, while his last ping on his cell phone was that same afternoon from nearby Como.
The incident has left the 100 expats living in the area completely shaken and, despite the alleged Whitbread affair being public knowledge, unsurprisingly, no one will talk.
Petrina declined to comment on the report and posted a sign on her door in English and Italian asking not to be disturbed.
Police see Faiers and Whitbread’s Italian home cordoned off
General view of the home of Michelle Faiers and Michael Whitbread in Verratti, Italy
CCTV footage seized from the house shows Michele returning there on October 28 after meeting Petrina and after that the only person seen leaving or entering was Whitbread.
Then, after he left on October 29, the next person to appear was Petrina early on the morning of November 1 when she made the horrifying discovery.
One local told MailOnline: ‘Apparently the tension between Michael and Michele was common knowledge among other Brits living here.
‘Michele told some people and after a nasty attack she stayed with one of her friends for a week because she was in a very bad state.
“She was covered in bruises and was very afraid for her life. He may have seemed meek and mild-mannered, but after having a drink he had a bad temper.”
“It all started at a New Year’s Eve party where Michael slapped another British woman on the butt and Michele wasn’t very happy, she got jealous and confronted him.
‘This created tension between this couple and them and they stopped seeing each other and avoided each other at community functions.
“The fact that he was supposed to be having an affair with this woman was common knowledge and it had gotten to the point where Michele just wasn’t having it and wanted to return to England to be with her family.
“She had been there in September for a wedding and came back talking about what a great time she had and that she was determined to come back, but sadly she didn’t.”
Whitbread is currently on remand in Wandsworth Prison facing extradition proceedings to Italy and at his first appearance refused to agree to be sent back.
Italian police say they are not looking for anyone else in connection with Michele’s death and a full extradition hearing is expected to be held in February.