French man filmed 1,500 women in shop toilets

A French grandfather has been handed a one-year suspended sentence for filming more than 1,500 women in the toilets of supermarkets in Brittany. He also allegedly burned one woman with acid, "hoping she'd have to go and get changed."

French man filmed 1,500 women in shop toilets
File photo: Keoni Cabral

A court in Brest on Thursday sentenced the 56-year-old man to a one year suspended prison term after he was found guilty of placing a camera phone in the toilets of supermarkets in the towns of Brest and Quimper in the Finistère department of western France.

The man, from the suburbs of Brest, is also alleged to have thrown sulphuric acid on the trousers of one woman, causing her severe burns – a claim that will be judged in court at a later date.

Explaining the alleged attack, he told the court simply, “I was hoping that she might then have to go and get undressed [in the toilets],” regional daily Ouest-France reported.

The man had filmed 1,535 women without their knowledge for four years, before one of his victims spotted a mobile phone between two toilet cubicles.

Police investigators discovered the videos on the phone, along with a USB key.

He was sentenced for invasion of privacy, as well as ordered to undergo treatment and pay €350 in compensation to the woman who first made the complaint against him. 

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French court orders partial release for convicted Corsican nationalist

A French court on Tuesday ordered the partial release of a Corsican nationalist who has served 24 years in jail for the 1998 murder of a top French official.

French court orders partial release for convicted Corsican nationalist

Under the ruling, Pierre Alessandri will be allowed out of jail to work for a landscaping company in the daytime and will be granted a full conditional release in a year if he behaves well.

The relaxation of Alessandri’s conditions of detention came amid tensions between the Mediterranean island’s pro-autonomy leaders and the French state, after a fellow Corsican detained in the same case was killed in a French prison in March.

Alessandri and a third Corsican detainee were transferred from mainland France to a jail in Corsica in April after the murder of Yvan Colonna.

The Paris appeals court granted Alessandri “a probationary partial release” of 12 months from February 13, the prosecutor-general Remy Heitz said.

If he behaves well, he would then be granted “conditional release” for another ten years, he said.

Alessandri’s lawyer Eric Barbolosi hailed the ruling as a “great relief”.

“For the first time in a court of appeals, the magistrates made a decision based on the criteria necessary for a conditional release, not the particular nature of the case,” he said.

Alessandri had served enough time to be eligible for such a release by 2017, and had already petitioned to be freed three times.

But national anti-terror prosecutors objected, and an appeals court barred his release.

The country’s highest court then quashed one of these decisions, ordering the Paris appeals court to re-examine it.

Colonna, a former goat herder, was announced dead on March 21 after an Islamist extremist who accused him of blasphemy strangled and suffocated him in a prison in the southern town of Arles in mainland France.

He was detained in 2003 after four years on the run, and sentenced in 2007, and then again in 2011, to life in jail over the killing in 1998 of the French government prefect of Corsica, Claude Erignac.

The killing was the most shocking of a series of attacks by pro-independence militant group FLNC.

Alessandri and another nationalist, Alain Ferrandi, had already been sentenced to life in jail in 2003 over the murder.

Ferrandi, who was transferred to the same Corsican jail, has also requested to be released on parole, and a decision is due on February 23rd.

Colonna’s murder sparked violent protests in Corsica.

It galvanised the nationalist movement and led President Emmanuel Macron’s government to offer talks about giving greater political autonomy to the territory.