British Woman Senteced for French Murder

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A French court found the niece of a British minister guilty of murder yesterday. She’s been sentenced to 15 years in jail for the alcohol-fuelled slaying of a young Frenchman she had befriended in a bar.

30-year-old Jessica Davies was also ordered to pay 105,000 euros in damages to the family of the dead man.

Davies told the court near Paris that she had knifed 24-year-old Olivier Mugnier to death in November 2007, but said her recollection of the multiple stabbings had vanished "into a black hole".

Davies, a former model, was born in London and has a French mother and British father. Her uncle is Quentin Davies, the British minister for defence equipment and support.

Jessica Davies met Mugnier by chance in an Irish bar on the outskirts of Paris and took him back to her flat. Later that night she phoned the emergency services and when police arrived they found her cradling the young man's naked body.

French media said she told police: "I am a monster ... I wanted to cut him a bit and (the knife) went right in."

It emerged that she had been drinking heavily and had also taken a large quantity of medicines prescribed to treat her depression.

Psychiatric health experts told the court that although she could be put on trial for the killing, her fragile mental state at the time of the crime was a mitigating factor.

The court heard that Davies had been traumatised by the separation of her parents during her adolescence and had once tried to commit suicide, using the same knife she later turned on Mugnier.

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