Family pays tribute to mother and son after man charged with their murder

The family of a mother and son who died in a small village has paid tribute to them and said life will never be the same again.

Calogero Ricotta, 63, appeared before Chelmsford Crown Court on Tuesday charged with the murders of his wife Maria Nugara, 54, and her 29-year-old son Giuseppe Morreale.

The defendant, who is also accused of actual bodily harm, was not asked to enter pleas and was remanded in custody.

Officers attended the address in Cambridge Road and found Ms Nugara and Mr Morreale, who were both pronounced dead at the scene.

Their family said, in a tribute released through police on Wednesday, that Ms Nugara was “loving and dedicated to her four children and grandson”.

“No matter what, she always had a smile and a positive outlook on life,” they said.

“Her infectious energy and her vibrant personality was always a joy to be around.”

They said that Mr Morreale, also known as Joe, “always had a cheeky smile and a loving heart”.

“He loved his family and was always there for them,” they said.

“He had a very close bond with mum, and always looked out for her.

“It’s not fair that they have been taken away from us.

“As you can imagine our family is devastated, losing both of them has caused a massive void in our hearts.

“We hope to get justice for our mum and brother Joe.

“We would appreciate if you would respect the privacy of our family at this time.”

Detective Inspector Lydia George said: “My thoughts are with Maria and Giuseppe’s family at this incredibly difficult time.

“Our officers will be supporting them while our work continues in this investigation.”

Ricotta, of Cambridge Road, Ugley, is due to appear before Chelmsford Crown Court for a plea hearing on August 16.

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