• France's news in English
French gardener jailed for 30 years for killing British woman
The house of murdered Briton Patricia Wilson in south west France. Photo: AFP

French gardener jailed for 30 years for killing British woman

AFP · 31 May 2016, 07:20

Published: 31 May 2016 07:20 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

A French court on Monday sentenced a gardener to 30 years in jail, with no possibility of parole for 20 years, for the murder of his British former boss and lover.

Jean-Louis Cayrou, 54, was convicted of murdering Patricia Wilson at her home near the southwestern city of Toulouse, in an act portrayed as the work of a "jealous" man who could not accept that Wilson had ended their relationship.

(Jean-Louis Cayrou in court. Photo: AFP)

The 58-year-old woman was last seen alive on August 17, 2012, at her home in the village of Vabre-Tizac, on her return from a trip to England.

Although police found her clothes and traces of blood, Wilson's body was never found.

Cayrou remained impassive as a jury in the town of Rodez returned its verdict after more than four hours of deliberations.

He had steadfastly maintained his innocence, saying that while he did visit Wilson's house on the night of her disappearance, he had arrived on the same scene found by police.

"I loved Patricia," he told the court, asking the jury to restore his "freedom and (his) honour".

The prosecution had pointed to the traces of blood found in Cayrou's car, telephone records showing the repeated calls he had made to her shortly before she disappeared, and the "inconsistencies, lies and changing versions" in his account of events.

(The caravan where Cayrou lived. Photo: AFP)

"We don't need his confession," prosecutor Manon Brignol told the court.

Story continues below…

"Everything is perfectly clear."

The only question, she said, was what Jean-Louis Cayrou had done with Wilson's body.

Cayrou's lawyer Jacques Levy complained that his client was treated as guilty from the outset of the investigation.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
French claims that Jungle camp is empty are rubbished
Photo: AFP

Reports from the scene say scores of migrants are still in the area of the Jungle despite French authorities claiming "mission fulfilled."

Kidnapped Riviera millionaire left tied up in car boot in Nice
Photo: AFP

Head of luxury Cannes hotel has been found alive after being kidnapped in Nice on Monday.

Paris landlords still charging illegally high rents
Photo: Panoramas/Flickr

... and it's tenants in the smaller apartments that get hit the hardest. Could you be paying too much?

France takes baby steps to make life simpler
Photo: AFP

... including extending the ridiculously short time limit for registering a new baby.

IN PICTURES: Calais Jungle camp goes up in flames
All Photos: AFP

Migrants leave behind a scorched camp as they are moved to locations across France.

French expats in UK suffer Brexit abuse
French ambassador to the UK Sylvie Bermann with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. Photo: AFP

French nationals no longer feel at home in the UK, ambassador says. But Brits in France have been greeted with sympathy since the referendum.

Six to go on trial in France over topless Kate photos
Photo: AFP

The topless pics sparked fury among the royals.

France sees biggest drop in jobless rate for 20 years
Photo: AFP

Good news at last. But it's unlikely to keep President François Hollande in his job.

Calais migrants given mixed reception in French towns
Photo: AFP

Some in France have shown solidarity with their new guests, while others have made it clear they are not welcome.

Lonely Planet says Bordeaux is world's best city to visit
The fantastic new Bordeaux wine museum. Photo: AFP

After The Local France, the Lonely Planet has followed suit by urging everyone to head to Bordeaux in 2017.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available