Caroline accused 'boasted he could kill'

11th June 2004, Comments 0 comments

RENNES, France, June 11 (AFP) - The Spaniard accused of killing British schoolgirl Caroline Dickinson had an obsession with young girls and knew he could find them at youth hostels across Europe, a former acquaintance of the suspect said in court Friday.

RENNES, France, June 11 (AFP) - The Spaniard accused of killing British schoolgirl Caroline Dickinson had an obsession with young girls and knew he could find them at youth hostels across Europe, a former acquaintance of the suspect said in court Friday.

On the fifth day of the rape and murder trial in the western French city of Rennes, the court heard evidence from Eduardo Riesgo Suarez, 44, who comes from Francisco Arce Montes' home region of Asturias.

Describing himself as the accused's "only friend in the world," Riesgo Suarez also claimed that Arce Montes had shown him a picture of Caroline and boasted of making love to her.

Arce Montes "knew all the youth hostels in Europe and spent his time chasing girls... For him the ideal age for a woman was 11 or 12, after 20 he found them old," Riesgo Suarez said.

"One day he showed me a picture of a young English girl and told me she was called Caroline Dickinson. He said she was extremely pretty, a real china doll. The photograph was signed. He said he had taken it from her bag," said Riesgo Suarez.

"He said he had met her in a youth hostel in Brittany, and that he made love to her. I asked him what he did then, and he said, 'Nothing - she just left.'"

However Riesgo Suarez's testimony was immediately called into question by Caroline's mother Sue, who said she was "practically certain there were no photographs in (Caroline's) backpack."

And after Riesgo Suarez described Caroline in the picture as wearing a school uniform with a white shirt and dark skirt, Sue Dickinson said she did not think her daughter had ever been photographed in those clothes.

Riesgo Suarez also reported an incident in which he said Arce Montes had lost his temper with him during a road trip in Spain, accusing him of stealing some shirts and socks.

"He became furious, totally red, with his eyes popping out. I feared for my life. He said, 'You are really lucky I managed to control myself. I don't care about going to prison. I can kill a person without any problem'" Riesgo Suarez said.

Arce Montes is accused of sexually assaulting 13 year-old Caroline Dickinson in a Brittany youth hostel in July 1996, and smothering her to death with a cotton pad. He faces life in jail.

A verdict is expected Monday.

© AFP

Subject: French news

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