UK & World News

  • 20 February 2014, 19:23

Mafia Boss Rancadore 'Came To UK For Good Life'

An alleged mafia boss facing extradition to Italy says he fled to England in 1994 to give his kids "a good life".

Domenico Rancadore, who was found living in west London last year after spending nearly 20 years on the run, appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London for the start of a two-day extradition hearing.

The 64-year-old wore a grey and blue cardigan and answered all questions in English.

He told the court he came to England out of fear the Italian authorities would arrest him again.

Rancadore also told the court he wanted to give his "children a good life" and that he felt "their life wasn't secure" in Italy.

The father of two, who had been using the alias Marc Skinner, added: "I changed my name, I changed my life, I didn't want to go back to Italy."

Italian authorities claimRancadore was a leading figure in the Cosa Nostra, a Sicilian mafia group controlling Trabianear Palermo.

He had previously taken part in an Italian maxi trial - a mass trial of 475 mafia members. He was acquitted in 1993.

Rancadore was originally detained by British police at his suburban home in Uxbridge, west London, under a European arrest warrant.

He had been one of Italy's most wanted criminals and was sentenced to seven years in prison in his absence.

Italian police claim he was involved in extortion, racketeering and drug trafficking.

The court also heard from Rancadore's wife, Anne Skinner, who said she had noticed a deterioration in her husband's health.

She told defence QC Alun Jones he now suffers memory loses and had noticed his hands "trembled a lot".

She added: "If my husband were to go to Italy it would be difficult to visit him. It would be devastating for me."

Before Rancadore's arrest, his wife ran an executive travel agency to support the family which she claims has since gone bust.

Rancadore remains in custody.

The hearing continues on Friday.

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