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Paedophile bus driver jailed for new sex crimes

Questions are being raised in Ticino about how a convicted paedophile, sentenced on Thursday to five years in jail for re-offending with new sex crimes against small girls, managed to get hired as the driver of a bus carrying young children.

Paedophile bus driver jailed for new sex crimes
Photo: AFP

The 51-year-old man admitted in the Lugano assizes court to a range of sexual offences against several girls aged five to 10, including one who was handicapped, the ATS news agency reported.

The victims were girls who travelled in the bus driven by the sexual predator.

The crimes, dating from 2011, ranged from exhibitionism — masturbating in front of the children — to fondling the girls and forcing them to touch him, according to court evidence.
    
Parents became concerned when the bus was repeatedly late and the offences subsequently came to light.

The convicted man was in detention for a year prior to the court case.

He already spent several weeks in jail in 2005 for similar acts and underwent therapy for two years, ATS said.

The man told the court that he stopped the treatment because it was too expensive and was not covered by his health insurance.    

The presiding judge and a lawyer acting on behalf of the affected families said it was unimaginable that the man could have been hired as a the driver of a bus carrying small children, ATS said.

The defence sought to reduce the penalty to two and half years in jail.

The convicted man’s lawyer said the bus driver promised to follow a therapeutic treatment.

But the judge did not deem this sufficient to lessen the sentence, ATS reported.

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ITALY

Ticino officials ask government to reintroduce checks at Swiss-Italian border

With a number of cases of mutated coronavirus detected in a retirement home and middle school, the canton wants Swiss federal authorities to better monitor cross-border traffic.

Ticino officials ask government to reintroduce checks at Swiss-Italian border
Ticino wants better checks at the Italian border. Photo by AFP

About 70,000 workers from Italy commute each day to their jobs in Ticino, but “the significant cross-border flow appears only partially linked to professional reasons”, cantonal officials said in a statement released this week

Worried that people entering the canton from Italy will spread the new Covid variant, Ticino officials asked the Federal Council “to introduce systematic controls at the border and to close minor crossings, except for the crossings most used by health sector workers”.

The recent decree of Italy’s government limits travel between Italian regions but not towards neighbouring states.

Switzerland’s border with Italy has been open since June 15th, 2020, after being closed for three months during the first wave of the pandemic. At that time, only cross-border workers were allowed to come to Ticino.

READ MORE: UPDATE: Cross-border train service between Switzerland and Italy to continue running 

Since the re-opening, border checks have been random and sporadic.

Ticino authorities added that “it would also be desirable to systematically subject travellers returning to Switzerland from travel abroad, in particular from risk areas, to rapid coronavirus tests”.

The Federal Council has not yet responded to Ticino’s request. 

Entry into Switzerland from France, Germany and Austria is also allowed, except for the quarantine requirement that may be in place at the time of arrival.

From January 15th, travellers from Germany’s Land Sachsen and Italy’s Region Veneto must quarantine for 10 days upon entering in Switzerland. 

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: What are Switzerland's quarantine rules?

 

 

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