Pay cause of crime

11th July 2003 at 01:00
italy: A teacher who resold pupils' dinner tickets has had her sentence halved by the supreme court because her salary was inadequate. Maria Angela Z (her surname was not released), a primary teacher from Turin, had originally been sentenced to two years' imprisonment. Halving the sentence, the court said that Mrs Z, a hard worker who had been given special responsibilities, saw the extra income as "a just reward for her commitment".

The sentence has sparked a debate on teachers' pay in Italy. Under a new contract signed last month, a primary teacher with 15 years' experience will earn pound;1,285 a month before tax.

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