German serial killer charged with murder of 10-year-old boy in France

A German serial killer already in prison for the murders of three children has been charged in France over the killing of a 10-year-old boy in 2004 that horrified the country.

German serial killer charged with murder of 10-year-old boy in France
Jonathan, 10, was missing for a month before his body was found. Photo: AFP

Martin Ney, sometimes dubbed “the Masked Man” in German media reports, has been charged with murder and kidnapping over the disappearance of Jonathan Coulom at a school holiday camp in western France, prosecutors said.

Coulom's body was found bound and weighed down by a concrete block in a pond more than a month after he was snatched from a dormitory at the seaside camp in Brevin-les-Pins.

Jonathan Coulom went missing in 2004. Photo: AFP

Ney, 50, was charged and transferred to the French city of Nantes from his high-security jail in Germany after telling a fellow prisoner he had killed Coulom, French lawyer Catherine Salsac said.

“Investigators found similarities between the methods used,” said Salsac, who represents Coulom's family, referring to Ney's murders in Germany.

She said the investigation had “accelerated” after the alleged confession.

Ney, who wore masks and balaclavas during his attacks, was jailed for life in 2012 after he confessed to killing three boys aged between eight and 12.

The British press has also linked him to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, who was snatched from her parents' rented apartment during a holiday in Portugal in 2007.

German prosecutors are investigating a different man, 43-year-old paedophile Christian Brueckner, in connection with the McCann case.

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How France plans to prevents youngsters accessing online pornography

France is set to announce new measures this week to prevent youngsters from accessing porn websites, in the latest round of a years-long struggle to protect children from explicit material.

How France plans to prevents youngsters accessing online pornography

“I plan to put an end to this scandal,” Digital Affairs Minister Jean-Noel Barrot told the Parisien newspaper on Monday.

France’s data protection and media regulators Cnil and Arcom are set to announce their latest proposals to rein in porn websites which are in theory subject to a 2020 law requiring age verification.

Previous attempts have been held up by privacy and technical concerns, as well as court action by the websites.

To its frustration last September, a Paris court ordered Arcom to enter into mediation with several porn websites including market leader Pornhub, holding up efforts to block them.

READ MORE: France hits Google and Facebook with huge fines over ‘cookies’

Under the new proposal, people wanting to access explicit material will need to download a phone application that provides them with a digital certificate and code, the Parisien reported.

The code will be needed to access a porn website under a system “which will work a bit like the checks from your bank when you buy something online,” Barrot told the newspaper.

“2023 will mark the end of our children accessing pornographic sites,” he added.

President Emmanuel Macron, who is married to former school teacher Brigitte Macron, promised to make protecting children from porn a priority during his bid for re-election last year.

In November, he launched the Children Online Protection Laboratory, an initiative that aims to bring together industry giants and researchers to look for ways to shield minors online.

In September last year, a report entitled “Hell Behind the Scenes” by French senators concluded that there was “massive, ordinary and toxic” viewing of porn by children.

The report found that two thirds of children aged 15 or less had seen pornographic content.

The French production industry has been roiled by a series of sexual assault cases in recent years in which women have come forward to allege rape, mistreatment and manipulation by directors and fellow actors.