An Italian court has ruled in favour of a divorced 50-year-old man who paid his monthly child support in the form of pizzas worth 400 Euros.
Nicola Toso, a pizza baker, was acquitted on criminal charges of failing to pay child support after a judge ruled that he had done his best during difficult times to provide 400 Euros worth of pizzas, calzone and other goods from the take-out pizza place he was managing.
Toso and his ex-wife Nicoletta Zuin divorced in 2002 and for several years all parties followed accords.
In 2008, Italy was hit by a deep economic crisis and Toso, who had remarried and had three more children, began struggling to pay child support, ‘The Telegraph’ reported.
From 2008 to 2010 he offered Zuin free food instead of the 400 Euros stipulated in their divorce agreement.
“In lieu of money, the defendant offered his ex-wife the same amount of compensation in the form of take-away pizzas from his workplace, an offer promptly rejected as “beggar’s change,” Judge Chiara Bitozzi wrote in her hearing.
Zuin then filed a criminal complaint. In Toso’s defence, his attorney argued the pizza baker had fallen on hard times and big debts. He was even forced to close his business in 2010 after being unable to pay vendors and employees.
The attorney also noted that he had held up all his other custody obligations, such as not missing visits and helping his daughter develop cordial relations with his new partner and three step-siblings.
In 2011, Toso’s daughter decided to move in with him. A civil court ruled that it was the ex-wife who was obliged to pay the father 300 Euros a month in child support.
Judge Bitozzi, therefore, wrote that there was no evidence that the pizza baker had committed a crime.