Frenchman jailed for 25 years for murdering retired British neighbour

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.

Frenchman jailed for 25 years for murdering retired British neighbour
The peaceful Pierres in western Normandy where David King lived before being murdered. AFP

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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French minister investigated after rape allegations

A junior minister in President Emmanuel Macron's government is under investigation after two allegations of rape were brought against her, French prosecutors have said.

French minister investigated after rape allegations

The allegations go back to when Chrysoula Zacharopoulou – who is now state secretary for development, Francophonie and international partnerships – worked as a gynaecologist, according to French magazine Marianne.

One complaint was lodged on May 25th and the investigation opened two days later, the prosecutors said. The second complaint was filed on June 16th.

Greece-born Zacharopoulou, 46, joined the government of Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne in May, having been a member of the European Parliament for the previous three years. She reports to Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna.

She gained prominence in 2015 by campaigning for greater public awareness of endometriosis together with actress Julie Gayet, who this year married former French president Francois Hollande.

Zacharopoulou was strongly involved in the UN’s COVAX coronavirus vaccine rollout effort, and has spoken out in favour of women’s reproductive rights.

These are not the first rape allegations to overshadow Macron’s government and come at a time of political difficulty for the president after he failed to retain a majority in parliamentary elections.

Prosecutors investigated Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin over an allegation for rape filed in 2017. He denied any wrongdoing and prosecutors in
January asked for the case to be dropped.

Rape allegations were also made against Solidarities minister Damien Abad last month but French prosecutors have said they were not currently opening an investigation.