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Saturday, 15 February, 2003, 14:33 GMT
Mistaken identity claim over murder
Bow Street Magistrates Court
Mr Hamkin appeared at Bow Street Magistrates Court
A man from Merseyside wanted in connection with the murder of a woman in Italy is a victim of mistaken identity, a court has heard.

On Saturday Bow Street Magistrates' Court in London was told Peter Hamkin has never been to Italy.

Mr Hamkin, a 23-year-old barman, appeared at the court for an extradition hearing, which will decide whether he will be sent to Italy to face the murder charges.

He was arrested under an extradition warrant on Thursday by detectives from the Metropolitan Police.

It is inconceivable he could be involved in this incident in Italy on that date

Lucy Cartwright, defence solicitor
The warrant is in connection with the murder of a 24-year-old woman who had pulled her car off a highway near the city of Florence.

Anna Lisa Vincentini, who was with her partner Stefano Poli, 39, was shot twice and died on 19 August 2002.

Defence solicitor Lucy Cartwright said there were up to 20 witnesses prepared to say Mr Hamkin was in Liverpool on the day of the murder.

Ms Cartwright said: "We have documents proving he was in Britain at the time of the incident in Italy.

"He is being supported by the owner of his pub who clearly recalls the 19th of August as it was the day of a family funeral."

Extra sample

During the hearing detective constable Chris Munro, of the Metropolitan Police, said a second DNA sample had been taken from Mr Hamkin for further investigation.

The court heard that on his arrest, Mr Hamkin protested: "But I have never been to Italy."

Ms Cartwright said: "It is inconceivable that he could be involved in this incident in Italy on that date. This is simply a case of mistaken identity."

Mr Hamkin was granted conditional bail backed by a surety of 10,000.


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