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French Couchsurfer host filmed guests in shower

A host of the "Couchsurfing" scheme, who secretly filmed his guests while they showered and added acid to their shower gel at his home in Marseille has been jailed for six months by a French court.

French Couchsurfer host filmed guests in shower
The man admitted to using a hole at the back of his wardrobe to watch female guests while they washed. File photo: Steven Zolneczko/Flickr

The 37-year-old engineer at the electrical company ERDF was on Tuesday jailed for six months with an 18-month suspended sentence for filming guests in his shower, 20 Minutes reported

He attracted his guests to his house by placing an ad on the global Couchsurfing website, which allows travellers to stay in hosts' homes for free.

The man admitted to using a hole at the back of his wardrobe to watch female guests while they washed. He also admitted to adding hydrochloric acid to their shower gel to prolong their showers.

“I wanted the girls to shower longer, so they would stay and rub themselves to get the product off,” he told investigators.

The case dates back to July 2012 when a young German tourist accused him of putting the anti-anxiety drug Lexomil on a her slice of bread and butter and putting hydrochloric acid in her shower gel and on her knickers.

The man confessed to having voyeuristic tendencies, which was confirmed in court by a psychiatrist.

However he denied that his actions were sexually motivated.

“What interested me was going out-of-bounds, it wasn’t necessarily sexual. It was about seeing without being seen,” he said.

Although he said he had offered his sofa to around 40 mainly young female travellers since 2006, he claims that he only spied on five or six of them.

In 2009 he was also caught trying to photograph a woman in the showers at a swimming pool in Bordeaux.

The German victim’s lawyer described the man as “an unremarkable person” who “doesn’t seem suspicious”.

“The thing that makes him dangerous is precisely because he doesn’t appear to be [suspicious],” she said.

But the man’s lawyer pointed out that he did not sexually abuse his victims, remarking that he was “still immature but extremely intelligent”. 

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CRIME

French police shoot dead knife-wielding man at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport

French Border police at the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris shot - and killed - man who was wielding a knife in the public area of the airport on Wednesday.

French police shoot dead knife-wielding man at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport

Border police reportedly shot a man with aggressive behaviour who brandished a knife in the public area of the Charles de Gaulle airport outside of Paris, on Wednesday morning, police and airport sources told AFP.

“This morning officers neutralised a threatening individual in possession of a knife at the Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport,” the Paris police department said on its Twitter account.

A source close to the investigation told BFMTV that the man – who was likely homeless – went towards the officers, despite being asked several times to put the knife down. In response, police shot the man in the abdomen, and the individual later died.

The incident took place in the busy, public area of terminal 2F around 8:20 am, when “a homeless man started bothering security agents and border police were called in to remove him”.

Initially the man left while yelling curses but he soon returned and brought out a knife, when one of the officers fired his weapon.

An AFP photographer who witnessed the scene said “a large person of colour brandished something that looked like a knife at the police”.

“He was ordered to stop but kept advancing toward them, and an officer fired a single shot.”

The man was quickly put on a stretcher and evacuated, the photographer said. 

Security forces have been on high alert for terrorist attacks since a wave of jihadist killings that have killed more than 250 people since 2015, often by so-called “lone wolves” who often target police.

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