Court appearance for mother accused of killing three children


By Amanda MacMillan

A MOTHER accused of killing three children made her first court appearance at a special legal hearing convened in a Scots hospital today.

Theresa Riggi, 46, originally from California, faces charges of murdering her three children  Austin and Luke Riggi, eight, and their five-year-old sister Cecilia Riggi.

Their bodies were discovered in a flat in the Slateford area of Edinburgh on August 4.

Their funeral took place in Aberdeen on Friday, with a requiem mass held in the city’s St Mary’s Cathedral.

Temporary arrangements were made at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh today so Mrs Riggi, who has been treated there since the discovery, could appear at a hearing which was held in private.

She made no declaration and was made subject of an Assessment Order and fully committed to a hospital under a section of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 known as s52D.

This allows an accused to be detained for up to 28 days at a specified hospital and, if appropriate, given medical treatment under the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003.

A spokesperson for the Crown Office said: “Theresa Riggi appeared today at Edinburgh Sheriff Court in relation to a charge of murder.

“No plea nor declaration was made and she was fully committed to hospital under an Assessment Order.”

A decision will on how legal proceedings should proceed following the issuing of the Assessment Order will now be taken at a later date.