Hosepipe murder trial to open in France
A 40-year-old French villager goes on trial on Monday accused of murdering a student in a frenzied fit of anger after she sprayed him with a garden hose.Strasbourg - A 40-year-old French villager goes on trial on Monday accused of murdering a student in a frenzied fit of anger after she sprayed him with a garden hose.
Salvatore Cucchiara is accused of stabbing 20-year-old Frederique Schnoering 47 times after she came to water his neighbour's garden in the village of Offendorf in France's eastern Alsace region in June 2006.
Heard initially as a witness, the unemployed father of four was taken into custody a month after the killing, when investigators found his DNA under the victim's fingernails.
He made two police statements admitting to the murder, but has since retracted his confession and says he is innocent.
Cucchiara told investigators he took the young sociology student to be the neighbour's daughter with whom he had an ongoing feud, and that he saw red after she sprayed him twice over the garden hedge.
Furious, he burst into the house's kitchen and punched her violently in the face and grabbed hold of her throat, before he "freaked out" and stabbed her repeatedly with a pen-knife, he told investigators.
Cucchiara faces up to 30 years in jail if found guilty in the trial, which is set to last 10 days.