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Man kidnaps woman to force marriage

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08:23 CEST+02:00
A 28-year-old man has been arrested after kidnapping a mentally handicapped 63-year-old woman in Bordeaux in south-western France in order to force her to marry him and obtain a residence permit.

The sexegenarian's ordeal began in August 2011 a few months after the man arrived illegally from Tunisia, according to a report in the local Sud Ouest daily.

The man moved into the woman's apartment in the Grand-Parc area of the city and remained in her apartment for the proceeding two months. According to the report, the 28-year-old made the woman's life hell, doling out regular beatings while he attempted to forcibly marry her in order to regularize his situation his France.

The woman was finally able to flee by taking refuge with a neighbour, who alerted the police.

A medical examination of the woman revealed a catalogue of bruises and physical abuse.

The man meanwhile suspected that he had been exposed and immediately fled ending up in Italy. He however returned to Bordeaux at some point and was identified by the police.

A police unit tracked the man to an apartment in Cenon, the home of a young girl who was also mentally handicapped and currently in hospital. The man had changed the locks on her apartment and had once again disappeared by the time the police had arrived.

The police were however able to locate and detain the man in central Bordeaux on Monday with the help of clues found in the apartment. 

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