Italian woman jailed after drugging her co-worker's coffee for nine months

·1-min read

An Italian woman who spiked her colleague's coffee for nine months in the hope that she would be sacked has been jailed for four years.

Mariangela Cerrato, 53, came up with the plan when she heard rumours about job cuts at the insurance company she worked for in Bra, Piedmont.

She and her victim worked in similar roles.

Cerrato put benzodiazepine powder into her co-worker's cappuccino when doing the daily coffee run for her team.

"The drug induces fatigue, headaches, dizziness and muscular pain and my client's work rate slowed after she drank the cappuccino," Cristiano Burdese, the lawyer for the female victim, told La Stampa newspaper.

The victim realised something was wrong when she drove into a tree on her way home from work.

When doctors couldn't find anything wrong with her, she started to suspect her coffee was to blame as her health was fine when she wasn't at work.

She became certain of her suspicions when Cerrato encouraged her to have a coffee at work, allegedly saying: "Come on, I will bring you a coffee, what harm can it do you?"

The woman accepted the drink but kept a sample of it which, when tested, was found to contain an "extremely high" dose of benzodiazepine.

She told police who then followed and secretly filmed Cerrato putting the powder in the drink.

Cerrato denied drugging the coffee and her lawyer says she will appeal her four-year sentence.

The insurance firm the women worked for said that in 2017, when the drugging took place, there were no plans to make people redundant.

It said they were actually recruiting new employees at the time.

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