French hunter jailed for shooting British cyclist

French hunter jailed for shooting British cyclist
Mark Sutton was mountain-biking near his home in Haut-Savoie. Illustration photo: AFP
A French hunter who shot and killed a British man who was mountain biking in the French Alps has been handed a one-year jail sentence.

Mark Sutton, 34, had been mountain-biking near his home in the Haut-Savoie département of France when he was hit by a hunter who was apparently aiming at a wild boar.

Sutton, who had lived in France for four years and ran cookery businesses in Morzine and Les Gets, died after being hit by the gunshot in October 2018.

The enquiry heard that he had been wearing bright clothing and cycling through an open area with clear visibility when he was hit. There were no signs up indicating that hunting was taking place in the area.

Every year in France dozens of people are accidentally injured by hunters taking part in la chasse – shooting of game birds, deer and wold boar.

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The hunter, a 24-year-old local man, admitted that he had made the shot, but insisted that it was an accident and he was aiming at a wild boar.

He was handed a four-year sentence, of which one year will be served behind bars. He was also banned from hunting for 10 years and from owning a gun for five years.

Three other hunters also appeared in court having attempted to conceal the facts by amending the hunting logbook and subsequently putting up signs indicating the hunting ground.

They were given suspended sentences of six to 18 months, with a three-year probationary period for two of them and a ban on hunting and carrying a weapon.


Member comments

  1. The behaviour of the three other hunters says a lot about the despicable mentality of the hunting fraternity. As for the killer apart from the leniency of the sentence I very much doubt that he will abide by the sentence of not hunting, or of owning weapons. I don’t see his hunting friends, judging from their behaviour, reporting him if he goes hunting and I doubt the police will check. It’s all too cosy.

  2. Oh this must be a joke?
    Someone shoots and kills a person and they only get 1 year in prison? It’s terrifying the priviledges hunters have in this country. What a terrible system.

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