Senegalese man jailed for American woman's murder

A court in Florence on Thursday sentenced Senegalese immigrant Cheik Diaw to 30 years in prison for strangling to death American citizen Ashely Olsen earlier this year.

Lawyers for 27-year-old Diaw said they would appeal the sentence.

"We need to present a more convincing defence on appeal to obtain an acquittal," said Federico Bagattini, one of two attorneys representing Diaw.

Lawyers for the family of 35-year-old Olsen said they were "satisfied" at Diaw's conviction and jail term.

"We cannot say we are happy at such a time but we are satisfied because the culprit has been brought to justice," said Michele Capecchi.

Prosecutors had asked for a life sentence for Diaw.

Olsen was found dead in her apartment in central Florence on 9 January. An autopsy found that she had been throttled and suffered skull fractures.

Her Italian artist boyfriend raised the alarm after he could not et in touch with Olsen and asked the landlord to open the door of her apartment.

Police arrested Diaw a few days later after street surveillance cameras showed him walking with Olsen toward her home that night and his DNA was found on a cigarette butt and a condom in her apartment.

Diaw had met Olsen at a Florence nightclub on the evening of attack, witnesses said.

Diaw admitted he and Olsen had fought violently after a night of drugs and sex but denied strangling her and claimed he did not intend to murder her.

Olsen, a Florida native, had been living for several years in Florence, where her father teaches at a design institute in the Renaissance city.