Sorry you took it that way Mitch
- wasn't meant in that way - just didn't want further responses along the 'check battery' line.
Anyway - the update, as promised.
Took the car in to have the starter motor changed - the symptoms had been getting progressively worse, to the point that I had to bump start it off my sloping driveway, in order to get it to the garage!
They changed the starter motor, then 'phoned me to say there were 'big problems' with my car! The new starter motor had not cured the problem and they had no idea what the cause was!
They put my original motor back in and called in a 'sparky'. Eventually, the fault was traced to a defective earth cable. There are several and this particular one, lives out of sight, under the battery tray area. This meant removal of the battery & tray, ECU, etc, in order to gain access, Resulting in a total bill, including parts, VAT & labour, of a shade over £260
. The garage and myself came to the conclusion that the lead had been gradually breaking down over time (it had finally sheared off at one end), to the point where you would get all ancillary electrics operating, but the connection was not sufficient enough to handle the load required for the starter motor. They had never seen this problem before on a Brera, only on some of the much older Alfas - hence the large labour bill for troubleshooting, etc.
So, if any of you have a similar problem, you may want to check out this earth lead yourselves and save a potentially large-ish garage bill. The lead itself was @£24 + VAT.
I'm also now wondering if this could have been contributing to the random activation of the alarm/attempted break in detected message, as the alarm may have registered a fault, based on the dodgy cable? I will wait and see!