By Oisin Sweeney •
Published: 03 Dec 2020 • 7:10
A FRENCH hunter has been jailed for accidentally shooting a British cyclist who he mistook for a wild boar in the Alps two years ago.
Lucas Clerc was on a hunting trip with three friends in the French Alps when he shot and killed Brit cyclist Marc Sutton, having mistaken the Welshman for a local wild boar in the distance.
At the court in Thonon-les-Bains, it was found that 24-year-old Clerc and his party had not followed basic safety measures while hunting. The gunshot that killed 34-year-old Sutton was fired just 150 metres from a residential area, and one member of the ‘inexperienced’ group was intoxicated from alcohol and cannabis at the time of the tragedy.
Lucas Clerc ‘broke down’ in court when he was sentenced to four years in prison, with three suspended. He was also issued with a ten-year hunting ban and a five-year ban on using guns. The other hunters and Clerc’s wife were also convicted of concealing evidence, having altered log books to place them away from the scene as well as putting up warning signs after the shooting to pretend they’d taken precautions. They received suspended sentences of between 6 and 18 months each.
At the time of his death, Marc Sutton had been living with his partner Jo Watts near the idyllic French chalet town of Les Gets for four years. The couple ran a catering company and had opened a health cafe shortly before his death. After the sentencing of Clerc, Watts said she was ‘happy the hunters had been judged’ and ‘hope that they have Marc’s death on their conscience’.
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Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...
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