By Jennifer Leighfield • 22 January 2021 • 9:53
The suspect was arrested after four years on the run
EUROPE’S most wanted Frenchman, sentenced for the rape of an 84-year-old Alzheimer’s sufferer in her home in Saint-Genest-Lerpt in 2009, has been arrested in Barcelona.
National Police reported that the man, who was on Europol’s Most Wanted list, was using a fake Italian identity to hide in Spain, was arrested in an operation carried out together with the French Police Nationale in Casteldefels, Barcelona.
A European Arrest Warrant was issued for the detainee, aged 48, by the High Court of Saint-Étienne for rape.
In June 2009, he took the victim to her home by car, and upon arrival, he asked her for a drink. Once inside her house, he raped her. She was unable to identify him, but his DNA was found at the scene and he was identified in 2012 when he was arrested for violence against his partner at the time, who he tried to run over. He was remanded in prison but released in 2013.
In 2016 he was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the rape of the elderly victim and went on the run.
The Spanish National Police acted rapidly upon a tip-off which the French police had received suggesting that the man was in Barcelona and arrested him the same day. This came thanks to the search of the home of one of the man’s relatives during which photos of him were found on a mobile phone.
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Jennifer Leighfield, born in Salisbury, UK; resident in Malaga, Spain since 1989. Degree in Translation and Interpreting in Spanish, French and English from Malaga University (2005), specialising in Crime, Forensic Medicine and Genetics.
Published translations include three books by Richard Handscombe. Worked with Euro Weekly News since November 2006. Well-travelled throughout Spain and the rest of the world, fan of Harry Potter and most things ‘geek’.
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