The captain of the capsized Costa Concordia could be sentenced to a cumulative total of more than 2,500 years in prison if convicted of causing a shipwreck, abandoning ship and multiple counts of manslaughter, it emerged on Monday.

The length of sentence was calculated, which totted up the jail terms that Captain Francesco Schettino could face if convicted on all the charges that are expected to be brought against him.

He could face an eight year jail sentence for every one of the 300 passengers and crew he allegedly left on the crippled vessel when it grounded on the shores of Giglio island.

He reportedly escaped in a lifeboat and watched the rest of the evacuation from shore.

He would face an additional 15 years in prison if convicted of manslaughter and another 10 years if found guilty of causing the shipwreck.

A total of 32 people are now feared to have died in the accident.

Prosecutors argued that there is a risk he could try to flee the country or interfere with evidence before his trial starts.

But defence lawyers requested that he be released from house arrest  and be given bail. They said there was no chance of Schettino reoffending. "There is no possibility of him committing the crime again because at the moment there is no possibility of him being given command of a ship," said Salvatore Parascandola, one of his lawyers.

"We hope that the court will free him." After a four-hour hearing, the court said it would make its decision on Thursday (Jan 9).