Sue Addis’ son Mikele at the trial of Pietro Addis in Brighton

Mikele Addis told The Argus how his mother and co-owner of Donatello and Pinocchio’s restaurants in Brighton was close to grandson Pietro all his life and she had been like a mother to him after his mother died.

Sue was found dead at her home in Cedars Gardens, Brighton on January 7, 2021. She had been killed by Pietro after he moved in with her.

The family had no concerns or concerns about this arrangement.

Speaking exclusively to The Argus, Mikele said he now wanted his nephew to have another chance at life and wished he could get help in a psychiatric hospital instead of going to jail. He said Sue felt the same way.

Mikele said: “When Pietro was just five years old, his mother Anna died suddenly. Really from that point on my mother Sue became his mother. Even before that, she was an incredible grandma. She was very close to all of her grandchildren. It was always something special to go to her house. There was a “grandchildren welcome” sign on the door.

“And when he lost his mother, Sue took over the role of mother to him. Then the routine then from the age of five to where we are now, Pietro spent every Monday and Friday evening with her.

“It was just the close relationship between the two. She picked him up from school. That was the routine for 12 years. By the time he turned 16, he was still seeing her every week.

“Mum had a real soft spot for him. At school he was a bit cheeky, but nothing of importance. She thought he would really make a difference. He had a real entrepreneurial side to him.

“She saw so much good in him. We all did. He was a bright boy. She had a real soft spot for him and out of the whole family she was the go-to person when he had a problem. He was close to his father when he needed advice but he would turn to mum.

“School wasn’t for him. He did his GCSEs. He became interested in catering, entered catering college. He worked behind the bar at the Donatello one day a week and cleaned glasses one or two evenings a week. All of us brothers Mir, Pietro’s father Leo and Stef were taught that we must earn what we get, during the school holidays we should have worked hard.

“My mom and dad came out of nowhere. Just like us, Pietro had to work to earn money.

“My father got dementia and went into a nursing home. Mom said she was sitting with Pietro and ‘he said he would never let me go to a nursing home, he would take care of me’. They were incredibly close.”

Sue and Pietro would go on vacation together, just the two of them. Trips included Spain and Palestine.

“It was clear they had a very strong loving relationship and bond,” Mikele said.

“None of us ever thought for a millisecond that problems we had at 17 would ever lead to something like this.”

The trial heard how 69-year-old Sue researched specialist treatment for her grandson.

She had been looking for a private addiction and mental health treatment clinic the day she was killed.

Mikele said she was “considering inpatient treatment of her grandson at a specialist centre”.

He had moved in for a week before the tragedy. On the day she died, Mikele, Sue and Pietro had all been spending time together at the restaurant in The Lanes, Brighton, discussing what to do during Covid as there had been advice on whether people should go out.

Mikele said: “There are search histories on the day it all happened [on her computer] from mom looking for any help he can get. But there were weeks of it. Nothing special happened that day.

“He had withdrawn in recent weeks, which he wasn’t. He would crack the jokes. He was the cool skater kid. The other grandchildren adored him. He became very distant and he didn’t communicate with the rest of the family… He wasn’t the same person.

“But there were no disagreements, quarrels. No ongoing tensions between Pietro and my mother. We spent a few hours at Donatello the day it happened. We worked together and it was my day off and I went to her. She said she was happy that Pietro stayed with her. “I love his company, I like to cook for him. He’s great company,” she said.

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“She had such a social life. This all had to stop because of Covid. I thought, ‘It’s good for her that he’s there and it’s good for him’. That was three hours earlier. We were talking about how to move on and he said, “All right, Grandma.” Those were the last words I heard him say.

“Sending him to his grandma wasn’t a punishment. It just seemed to make logical sense. Because she was the main person who could help him get back to normal.

“Leo was a great father to Pietro and his mother always supported him in his upbringing.

“Pietro withdrew more and more. He could no longer see his friends as usual. Everything changed. Mom would never have gone home at 4 p.m. on a Thursday. She was there ten or eleven hours a day from Monday to Saturday. Donatello was her fourth child.She loved it.

“None of us would have ever thought for a millisecond that something like this could happen knowing of their relationship. Knowing her story and her past, I know in my heart that something happened inside him to do what he did.

“If they had argued, she would have picked up the phone and called Leo, his father, or me.

“She wouldn’t have run a bath. One thing that really made me feel good was that there were pieces of newspaper in the bath, meaning she had been reading The Argus in the bath and was relaxing as usual. This really made me feel better.

“I don’t think it was an act of anger. This is someone who has mentally lost his mind.

“I don’t want him to lose most of his life.

“If Mum looks down and knows their relationship, what would upset her the most is knowing the environment he is in. I really believe that. And that’s what I think. I want him to try life.

“The biggest punishment he’ll get is knowing what he did – to someone who gave him so much of her life. Everyone loses their mother and father and they want them to go peacefully, but that didn’t happen. I don’t hate and despise him, but I hate what happened.

The Argos:

“I just miss her desperately.

“My motivation for the future is to run the business well and do it proud. Donatello and Pinocchio are her legacy along with her sons. I was in awe of her. The way she worked and the way she treated people. I want to do everything in my power to continue that legacy.” Sue Addis’ son Mikele at the trial of Pietro Addis in Brighton

Fry Electronics Team

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