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Frenchman, 84, charged with murder of British neighbour in western France

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Frenchman, 84, charged with murder of British neighbour in western France
Police investigate outside Mr Daniels' home. Photo: Screengrab France3
10:11 CEST+02:00
An 84-year-old Frenchman was charged on Thursday evening with the murder of the 72-year-old British man who died after being shot when taking the bins out at his home in the Charente department of western France.
Two men, Pascal Moreau, 48, and his father Jean Moreau, 84, had been arrested in connection with the murder, which took place in the village of Edon on Tuesday, two hours after it took place. 
 
After hearings with magistrates on Thursday, the father Jean Moreau, described as frail and nearly deaf, was charged with "murder committed with premeditation or ambush".
 
He has been remanded in custody. The 84-year-old will now undergo psychiatric tests. According to local Charente Libre newspaper Jean Moreau was described as a "hard", "rural" man who could be "capable of fits of anger" but rarely left his property in recent years.
 
Mr Daniels was shot outside his property around 7pm as he took his refuse bin outside. It is believed the shooter was lying in wait in bushes outside the property.
 
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A hunting rifle was confiscated by police at the father and son's property. It is believed to have been used to shoot Mr Daniels.

Jean Moreau's 48-year-old son Pascal is believed to be the farmer who worked on the Daniels' land and was born and raised in the village. They both lived together in an adjacent house to the victim's property (pictured below).

He was also reportedly being investigated for a violent attack on Mr Daniels in 2017, according to local press. He was released on Thursday evening and has not been charged in relation to the murder of Mr Daniels.
 
It is believed the murder may have been the result of a dispute over the lease of farm land and differences in opinion over the development of the land.
 
The Daniels owned 130 hectares including forest, grazing land and crops.
 
Another report in Sud-Ouest newspaper suggested the "cleanliness and upkeep of the land" was the source of the long-running dispute.
 
Pascal's older brother Roland told local media on Thursday how the dispute had revolved around how the farm land should be managed. 
 
An autopsy took place on Thursday but authorities are not willing to comment on the results at this point, according to Sud Ouest. 
 
After he was shot, Daniels was driven by his wife to a doctor's surgery in Dignac (below), 12km away, but he died on the way. 
 
The Daniels had lived in Edon for the last twenty years.
 
According to reports in the British press, they also owned a house in London where they spent part of the year.
 
Villagers in Edon spoke of their shock on Wednesday after the murder of Mr Daniels.
 
"It's a tragedy," Marie Lacellerie, owner of Au Petit Creux, a restaurant in Edon told The Local. "He'd been here a long time and was known by everyone."
 
"He was a straightforward, good guy," she added. 
 
Mayor Patrice Petit said the death of Mr Daniels "was a big loss to the village."
 
"He was a man I knew very well, a man much appreciated in the commune where he had lived for a long time," said Petit.
 
 
 
 
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