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British man charged with wife's murder in Brittany
Photo: Susan White and the road near Trégonneau where her body was found.

British man charged with wife's murder in Brittany

The Local/AFP · 4 Jul 2013, 12:07

Published: 04 Jul 2013 12:07 GMT+02:00

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David White was charged with murder after being questioned by police during which he was incoherent in his testimony, local prosecutor Gerard Zaug said.

He was released but with restrictions on his movement. 

Traces of blood have been found near a van belonging to David White, according to investigators.

Earlier on Thursday, Susan White's family had appealed for any information that could help explain how she died. Her sister told The Local the family were desperate to find out what had happened to her.

Mrs White, aged 51, was found with a fractured skull by the side of the road near the village of Trégonneau on the road between Guingamp and Tréguier in Brittany on Monday evening at around 10pm.

Until charging David White on Thursday, police investigating the death had been unable to determine how she died. Mrs White’s family back in the UK had also remained in the dark about what happened to her.

On Thursday they appealed for anyone who might have any information to come forward.

“This has obviously shocked us all,” her sister Linda Johnson told The Local. “We are just trying to keep things together."

“If there is anyone who might have information on what happened to Susan then please come forward. That’s all we can ask at this moment in time,” she added.

Mrs White’s body was spotted by passing motorists, who called emergency services. A post-mortem carried out the next day revealed that she had died from a fractured skull, but it could not determine what had caused the head injury.

Reports in the French press claimed her body was covered in bruises.

The 51-year-old, originally from Paignton in Devon, lived with her husband David in the village of Trégonneau, not far from where her body was found.

It is believed Mrs White moved to Brittany with her husband around seven years ago to begin a new life in France.

“My mother spoke to her just a couple of weeks ago and she seemed absolutely fine,” said her sister.

Mrs White's auntie Jeanette Wilton, who also lives in Brittany was the first to hear about her niece's death.

"One of their friends just phoned me and she said David had asked her to phone me and ask us what we wanted to do about the funeral and that he was in police custody," Mrs Wilton told The Local.

Story continues below…

"The last time I saw her was in March. I remember she really clung to me. I think she was missing her mum and her sisters back home in the UK."

Officers in the local area have been questioning neighbours and friends of the couple. Commander Tourtin from the local gendarmerie told Ouest France that they were not ruling anything out at this stage.

The family told The Local they have struggled to get any information from the police and authorities as to how their investigation is proceeding, which has been made more difficult by the language barrier.

A spokeswoman for the British Embassy told The Local the Consulate in Paris was doing what they could to help the family.

Police declined to comment on their investigation when contacted by The Local on Thursday, simply saying their inquiries were ongoing.

The Local/AFP (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

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