A British woman found murdered in her Italian dream home was staying with a friend after suspecting her partner of having an affair.
Prosecutors’ papers in Italy detail how tragically Michele Faiers, 66, was also brutally attacked by her partner Michael Whitbread, 74, after a furious row between the pair just weeks before she died.
The attack left her ‘covered in bruises’ and ‘afraid for her life’, according to testimony from 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 home she shared with retired IT consultant Whitbread.
Her body lay in the first floor bedroom, covered with a sheet with only her feet sticking out from underneath, police sources told MailOnline.
According to the file, a gentleman boxer covered in blood was also found at the crime scene in the picturesque hamlet of Verratti near Chieti on Italy’s Adriatic coast, where the couple lived.
Prosecutor’s papers in Italy detail how tragically Michele Faiers, 66, was also brutally attacked by her partner Michael Whitbread, 74
Michelle Faiers and Michael Whitbread’s home in Verratti, Italy, where Michele was found dead
Police have been told that Michele ‘had doubts about her partner’s fidelity’ and that she was ‘considering leaving him and moving back to England’
Police have been told that Michele ‘had doubts about her partner’s fidelity’ and that she was ‘considering leaving him and returning to England’.
She is said to have become ‘angry and suspicious’ of him after seeing him slap a friend on the buttocks at a New Year’s Eve party.
According to the police file, the woman is a retired British company director, aged 62, a divorced mother of two, originally from Bath, who moved to Italy several years ago to start a new life with her partner, a former postman from Surrey .
MailOnline does not mention the woman and her partner by name.
The prosecution’s file shows that Michele confided in Petrina about her doubts about Whitbread and was forced to sleep at her home for a week in early October after a violent argument with him left her ‘covered in bruises’.
Petrina told detectives that the “raging fight” between Michele and Whitbread had left her friend “fearing for her life” and she had told her about the bitter relationship in the days leading up to her death.
Michele was found dead on November 1 when Petrina called after becoming concerned when she didn’t answer messages and found her lifeless in the bedroom.
Police determined she was murdered four days earlier and Whitbread was held 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 she is said to have alerted police that he was at her home after reading reports of the death on MailOnline.
Whitbread was described by police neighbors as ‘always a little tipsy’, while Michele was said to be ‘calm and serene’.
The day before Michele was murdered, Whitbread sent a message to the partner of the woman whose buttocks he slapped, confessing that they had ‘had sex together’.
But he questioned the veracity and replied asking to meet Whitbread to clear the air, but 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 bizarrely sent another message retracting what he had said, and a day later he sent a similar text message.
By then, however, police had established through CCTV at the couple’s home that Whitbread had left in their Jeep Compass in the early hours of October 29 and begun the 1,000-mile drive to Britain.
Traffic cameras spotted him traveling from Italy to Switzerland near Lake Maggiore at 4pm that afternoon, while his last mobile phone pinged from nearby Como earlier that afternoon.
The incident has left the 100 expats living in the area completely shocked and despite Whitbread’s alleged affair being public knowledge, it will come as no surprise that no one will say anything.
Petrina has declined to comment on the report and has posted a sign on her gate in English and Italian asking not to be disturbed.
Faiers and Whitbread’s Italian home is cordoned off by the police
General view of Michelle Faiers & Michael Whitbread’s home in Verratti, Italy
CCTV footage seized from the house shows Michele returning there on October 28 after meeting Petrina. After that, Whitbread was the only person seen leaving or entering.
After he left on October 29, the next person to appear was Petrina, early on the morning of November 1, when she made the gruesome discovery.
A local resident told MailOnline: ‘Apparently the tension between Michael and Michele was well known among other Brits living here.
‘Michele had told a few people and after a nasty attack, she stayed with one of her friends for a week because she was in such a bad way.
‘She was covered in bruises and really scared for her life. He may have seemed gentle and mild, but after a drink he had a nasty temper.
‘It all started at a New Year’s Eve party where Michael spanked another British woman’s bottom and Michele was not very happy. She got jealous and approached him.
‘It led to tensions between this couple and them, causing them to stop seeing each other and avoid each other at common events.
‘The fact that he was allegedly having an affair with this woman was public knowledge and it had gotten to the point where Michele just didn’t want it anymore and wanted to go back to England to be with her family.
‘She had been there in September for a wedding and came back to talk about what a lovely time she had had and how she was determined to move back, but unfortunately that was not to be.’
Whitbread is currently on remand in Wandsworth prison and faces extradition proceedings to Italy. At his first appearance he refused to agree to return.
Italian police say they are not looking for anyone else in connection with Michele’s death and a full extradition hearing is expected to take place in February.