A retired married couple aged 72 and 77 were discovered murdered in their home, having been stabbed to death and bound with wire.

"/> A retired married couple aged 72 and 77 were discovered murdered in their home, having been stabbed to death and bound with wire.

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CRIME

Retired couple found bound and murdered

A retired married couple aged 72 and 77 were discovered murdered in their home, having been stabbed to death and bound with wire.

The alarm was raised by a family member and a neighbour after the couple, who lived in the Paris suburb of Maurepas, had not been seen for over a day, according to Le Parisien newspaper.

“I’d seen them and everything was fine,” said the neighbour, Daniel, who lived opposite the couple.

“The next day, I noticed that their car wasn’t there and that the shutters in their sitting room were closed, which never happened. I thought it was odd. I waited the whole day, worried. In the evening, I saw their niece, who was also concerned. We called the emergency services and they found them dead in their house.”

Police made the grisly discovery when they entered the home on Friday evening. The man had been tied to a piece of furniture with his wife at his side. Both had been stabbed several times and the house had been ransacked.

“We see many incidents where the victims are tied up but this level of violence is unusual, said a police source quoted by Le Parisien. “Usually, criminals tie up their victims, take what they want and then disappear.”

The police inquiry will investigate whether the couple were tortured before they were killed. 

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CRIME

French court acquits four over death of British schoolgirl

A French court on Wednesday acquitted three English teachers and a lifeguard accused over the 2015 drowning of a 12-year-old British schoolgirl in France.

French court acquits four over death of British schoolgirl

Jessica Lawson drowned in July 2015 after a swim in a lake with 23 other British children on a school trip. She died after the pontoon they were playing on capsized near Limoges in southwest central France.

The trial began Tuesday in nearby Tulle, attended by the child’s parents.

The suspects including the teachers from Hull, northeast England, and the lifeguard on duty at the time were charged with manslaughter caused by a “deliberate breach of safety or caution”.

The judges said on Wednesday there were too many elements in the case that were unclear including exactly when the child disappeared in the water.

The court also could not establish a link between the pontoon overturning and the schoolgirl’s death.

The local authority was also cleared of any role in the death.

It was the lifeguard who had found the missing child at the bottom of the lake (lac de la Triouzoune) on July 21 and she was airlifted to hospital. She died the next day.

The public prosecutor had requested a suspended sentence of three years for the teachers and the same for the lifeguard, who was 21 years old at the time, as well as a lifetime ban on doing similar work.

The suspects denied that they had failed to provide proper surveillance.

A lawyer for the schoolgirl’s family said they hoped the public prosecutor would appeal the court’s decision, pointing to many issues.

“A young girl of 12 disappeared, the pontoon was dangerous and there was an obvious lack of surveillance. Another court must hear this,” lawyer Eloi Chan told AFP.

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