Spaniard 'smothered schoolgirl with cotton pad'
7 June 2004, RENNES – A former waiter used a cotton pad to smother British schoolgirl Caroline Dickinson to death as he brutally abused her in a Brittany youth hostel eight years ago, a French court was told Monday.
7 June 2004
RENNES – A former waiter used a cotton pad to smother British schoolgirl Caroline Dickinson to death as he brutally abused her in a Brittany youth hostel eight years ago, a French court was told Monday.
Spaniard Francisco Arce Montes was a serial offender with a pattern of sex attacks on young teenage girls, and on the night of the killing was fired up by another failed assault.
The murder of the 13-year-old Caroline at the hostel in the village of Pleine-Fougeres in northern France in July 1996 shocked the public in both France and Britain after it was shown that the attack took place in the small first-floor bedroom that she was sharing with four schoolfriends.
The court heard how her room-mates found her lifeless body at 8am, with her pyjama shorts rolled in a ball between her legs and a large stain of blood on the mattress.
An autopsy revealed that she died from asphyxia, and had suffered severe trauma to her genitalia - though it was not clear if she had literally been raped.
The prosecution alleged Montes cased the hostel where Caroline's school party.
At around 2.30am he was caught in the act of abusing a British schoolgirl in a dormitory at Saint-Lunaire, and fled the scene to return to the Pleine-Fougeres hostel whose front door was left open overnight.
He had taken a mixture of alcohol and anti-depressants that made him "feel like Superman".
"Still excited by the scene .... he had an immediate desire to touch this young girl and masturbate," the prosecution case said.
"He lay beside her, uncovered her body, took off her shorts and placed a cotton pad over her mouth to stop her screaming.
"By using force to seal her respiratory passages in order to rape her, Montes must have been aware that he would kill her by asphyxiation."
Fleeing to Britain after the attack, Montes was identified as a suspect a year later when police discovered that he had been briefly detained for breaking into a hostel in central France in 1994.
Investigators also discovered that he had been jailed for armed rape in Germany in 1985, and in 1997 jumped bail near his home in Asturias, northern Spain, where he was under suspicion of a similar attack. He spent the following years in South America.
Montes was eventually arrested in Miami after a new assault, and was identified only after a US immigration officer on holiday in London read a story on the Dickinson affair and spotted his name.
DNA evidence linked him uncontrovertibly to semen found on the scene.
Montes admits the facts in the case, but denies intending to kill.
The trial is expected to end Friday.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news