Drug user who dumped man’s body in wheelie bin jailed for 16 months

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A drug user who disposed of a man’s body in a wheelie bin has been jailed for 16 months. Gerardo Rossi, 52, emptied the contents of his neighbour’s recycling bin and placed Erik San Fillipo, 23, inside after the Italian national died of an overdose. He then wheeled the bin to a disused property with an overgrown front garden and left it there sometime between May 10 and 12 this year. The incident was brought to police attention when the neighbour spotted his recycling bin and noticed a person’s legs protruding from it. Mr San Fillipo, who had been a chef in Camden, was taking drugs at Rossi’s home in Islington before he died of an overdose. His mother Carmen De Caro described him as a ‘prince’, stating that she was ‘destroyed’ by his death. Mr San Fillipo’s documents were not placed in the bin with his body, causing the police a delay in identifying him. During the investigation, officers noted that Mr San Fillipo’s body was only wearing one trainer, and the other shoe was later found on the back garden wall of Rossi’s home. Rossi was then arrested and told police he had been ‘very scared’ and ‘didn’t know what to do’. He pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice at an earlier hearing before he was sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court on December 13. He was jailed for 16 months and ordered to serve a further four months to run consecutively, for breaching conditions imposed for a previous suspended sentence. Gillian Travers, from the CPS, said Rossi has shown ‘little regard for the dignity of his victim’. She continued: ‘It is a most distressing event for Mr San Fillipo’s family, to lose a loved one, and for the defendant to have shown such little respect by concealing his death. ‘Rossi was already in breach of a suspended prison sentence for possession of a bladed article. ‘When he realised that his friend had died, instead of alerting the police as he should have done, he decided to move Mr San Fillipo out of his home to avoid police attending his drug den and investigating him further. ‘The prosecution case included compelling evidence including the finding of Mr San Fillipo’s belongings in and around the defendant’s home. ‘This was an unusual and sad case but I hope this prosecution provides some comfort to the family of Mr San Fillipo and shows that the CPS will take action in similar circumstances.’