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Frenchman jailed for 25 years for murdering retired British neighbour

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Frenchman jailed for 25 years for murdering retired British neighbour
The peaceful Pierres in western Normandy where David King lived before being murdered. AFP
11:35 CEST+02:00
A Frenchman was on Thursday sentenced to 25 years in jail for murdering his retired British neighbour in rural Normandy and dumping his body in a well.

A Frenchman was on Thursday sentenced to 25 years in jail for murdering his British neighbour and dumping his body in a well.

Emmanuel Tenret, 31, claimed in court that "hunger" drove him to kill David King, (see pic) a 71-year-old former car mechanic who loved to grow and cook his own food at his retirement home in Pierres, in the Calvados department of Normandy.

"I was in need at that point. I lost my senses. I saw the freezer through the window. I broke in. Unfortunately he (King) came earlier than expected," Tenret said.

In court he admitted killing King and disposing of his body down the well.

During the investigation Tenret has told police that he had "a memory lapse" and could not remember the incident.

He also told investigators that he lived an impoverished and isolated life ever since the death of his father in 2012. According to psychiatrists Tenret suffers from "mental immaturity".

King's daughter, Sandra Ray, who lives in Australia, told the court in Caen that her frugal father lived for his garden.

"His passion was the garden, he liked to make jam, cheese and cakes and give them to his friends," she said.

The court also heard that King was likely killed with either a chisel or pickaxe and that Tenret returned to the house for several weeks after the 
murder to take food or have a shower.

King was reported missing in November 2014. His body was found at the bottom of Tenret's well in April 2015.

He had gone missing after having tea with friends. French police were criticized by his family after initially refusing to open up a missing persons case, believing he had travelled to Australia to visit his daughter.

But, friends said he had left his passport and medication for a heart condition at home, so was unlikely to have flown abroad.

David King's car was found abandoned in a nearby town in January 2015.

After his arrest Tenret admitted the pair had had a row and had given police "incoherent accounts" of what happened.

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