Frenchman claims love to blame for UK murder

30th March 2005, Comments 0 comments

BEAUVAIS, France, March 30 (AFP) - A Frenchman who has admitted to stabbing his British mother-in-law to death on Wednesday told a court outside Paris that his "disproportionate" love for his estranged wife drove him to violence.

BEAUVAIS, France, March 30 (AFP) - A Frenchman who has admitted to stabbing his British mother-in-law to death on Wednesday told a court outside Paris that his "disproportionate" love for his estranged wife drove him to violence.

"I loved her. I still love her. If I acted this way, it's because my love for her was disproportionate. She is the first woman with whom I was madly in love," Cherif Doua, 41, told the court in Beauvais, north of Paris.

Doua stands accused of murdering his mother-in-law, 62-year-old Valerie Brocklesby, and of nearly killing his wife Jayne, now aged 32, at their home near Birmingham, central England in January 2000.

He allegedly stabbed his mother-in-law to death after she refused to let him see his wife, who had filed for divorce after one year of marriage and fled France to live in Britain after Doua was jailed for trafficking stolen cars.

Doua faces life in prison if convicted of premeditated murder. His lawyers are expected to argue that he did not plan his crime and should received a lesser punishment.

He is being tried in his hometown of Beauvais, rather than in England because France refuses to extradite its own nationals.

"He was a liar, a cheat. He says he loves me still, but this is not how you treat people you love," Jayne Brocklesby testified.

The young blonde woman, who lives in Britain, says she wishes she had never married Doua, as perhaps her mother would still be alive.

Brocklesby - who has been accompanied by a British police officer since the start of the trial on Tuesday - later left the courtroom when Doua took the stand. The two are still not officially divorced.

A childhood friend of Doua, called to testify about the couple's relationship, said: "He was crazy in love, but she was aggressive towards him. I never saw him act violently in his life."

Two days after the stabbings, Doua's car was found in a parking lot in the English Channel port of Folkestone. A month later, French police arrested him at the Gare du Nord train station in Paris. He has been in custody ever since.

Three interpreters have been hired to provide simultaneous translation of the proceedings into English for Jayne Brocklesby, her brother and seven of 12 witnesses who are British nationals.

The trial is due to end on Friday.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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