When Mariangela Cerrato heard rumors of dismissal at the insurance company where she works, the Italian hatched a plan to save her job: drug her office colleague so that she was fired in her place.
In October 2017, the 53-year-old woman started bringing coffee daily to Alice Bordon, her partner in the agency, which is located in Piedmont, Italy. But before putting him gently on the desk, she injected it with a powerful sedative, benzodiazepine powder, marketed under the name Vadium or Xanax.
When she first drank the poisoned coffee, Bordon lost his balance and had to be hospitalized. “Everything was black, I felt like I was floating”, she explains to The Independent. Every day the scenario repeated itself. Drowsiness, headache, dizziness: the ordeal lasted a total of nine months.
One day, when she came home from work exhausted, she hit a tree with her car. Overwhelmed by her suffering, she decided to take time off and see a neurologist, who suggested that she stop drinking coffee. It was from there that the subterfuge was revealed.
Four years in prison
A few months after stopping the coffee, Alice Bordon began to suspect her office colleague, who seemed to push her to drink it. One day she accepted coffee from her partner, but decided to keep some to have it tested.
“The tests revealed that it contained 10 times the dose of tranquilizer usually advised”, Bordon explains to the British media. After the police were notified, the woman was caught in the act and then brought to justice. She has just been sentenced to four years in prison.
If Mariangela Cerrato failed to discredit her office colleague to have her dismissed in her place, it was not for lack of perseverance: the insurance agency where they worked had in fact no plans for dismissal – she was even recruiting .