Body of British woman found by road in Brittany

Police in western France are investigating the mysterious death of a 50-year-old British woman who was found with a fractured skull by the side of a country road not far from where she lived. French media have reported her partner has been arrested.

Body of British woman found by road in Brittany
Tregonneau in Brittany, western France and a photo of the road between Guingamp and Teguire where the woman's body was found. Photos: Good Maps

The woman was discovered lying by the side of the road near Trégonneau on the route between Guingamp and Tréguier in Brittany on Monday evening at around 10pm.

Passing motorists called emergency services but the 50-year-old British national was already dead, regional newspaper Ouest France reported.

Police have opened an investigation but have been unable to determine exactly how the woman died and how she ended up by the side of the road.

According to French news site France Bleu, the woman’s British partner has been arrested by police, although this has not been confirmed by authorities.

Commander Tourtin from the local gendarmerie told Ouest France that they were not ruling anything out at this stage.

An autopsy was carried out on Tuesday which determined that the woman died from a fractured skull. However, what caused the fractured skill, whether a passing car or a stone, is still not known.

There were also reports her body was covered with bruises.

Police have so far declined to name the woman but she is believed to have lived nearby with her British partner. Her body was found just a few metres from a farmhouse where her friends lived, Ouest France reported.

Officers were seen searching the local area and questioning neighbours and friends in the area.

A police investigator declined to comment to The Local on Wednesday, simply saying the investigation was ongoing.

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French town of Nantes votes for referendum on exiting Pays-de-la-Loire region

The French city of Nantes is to hold a referendum on exiting the Pays-de-la-Loire region and becoming part of Brittany instead.

French town of Nantes votes for referendum on exiting Pays-de-la-Loire region
Photo: AFP

On Friday the town council of Nantes voted in favour of requesting the French government organise a referendum so local people can have their say about whether they wish to remain in the Pays-de-la-Loire region or become part of Brittany – a region that many say the town has more historic and cultural connections to.

The vote on Friday was carried by 56 votes and concerns whether the département of Loire-Atlantique – which contains Nantes – should move regions.

READ ALSO The 20 essential maps you need to understand Brittany


The vote follows a petition in 2018 which gathered 105,000 signatures.

Nantes mayor Johanna Rolland said: “This strong citizen mobilisation cannot be ignored. It reflects the aspiration of our fellow citizens to be consulted to a greater extent, in a context of essential revitalisation of our democracy.”

The desire of people in the Loire-Atlantique to become Breton isn't new.
The départment was part of Brittany until World War II, when it was separated and made part of the neighbouring region by the Vichy government. That region eventually became the Pays-de-la-Loire in 1955.
The issue has been simmering since then and pro-Breton voices have become louder in recent years as they hope to take advantage of a law that allows départments to chose which region they belong to via a referendum.
The town, which is the historic seat of the Dukes of Brittany, also declared its intention to  “set up a permanent pluralist body to engage in a genuine consultation with the State on the organisation of this referendum, organise an in-depth debate on the issues and consequences of a redistribution in order to feed the citizen debate, and formulate proposals to strengthen cooperation between Nantes and the other Breton territories”. 
However the referendum will have to be approved by both the national government and the regional authorities.

France's regions were reorganised in 2016 and several were merged to create the current 13 regions of mainland France.

Brittany currently covers four départements – Ille-et-Vilaine, Côtes-d'Armor, Finistère and Morbihan – while Pays-de-la-Loire covers Loire-Atlantique, Maine-et-Loire, Mayenne, Sarthe and Vendée. Nantes is currently the largest town in the region.