Briton charged with killing, burning wife in France

7th September 2010, Comments 0 comments

French prosecutors on Tuesday charged a Briton with aggravated murder for killing his wife in a drunken fight, burning her body and burying it in cement at their chateau, officials said.

Robert Hall, a 55-year-old from Manchester, has admitted accidentally killing his wife on Friday night at their home in the northwestern region of Brittany, the public prosecutor's office said in a statement.

Hall, a former builder, told police he "had wanted to build a sort of mausoleum with cement to honour a pact he had made with his wife," an official in the state prosecutor's office said.

They had lived for about 12 years in the village of Le Chatellier in the chateau "which they were restoring to install holiday homes and maybe a golf course," said the official in nearby Rennes.

"They seemed to have been having financial problems for some time," she added.

The prosecutor's office said the suspect's adult children called police after he telephoned to tell them of his wife's death, and that Hall had cooperated with investigators since his arrest.

Police found "remains which could be human" at the property but had not yet identified them as that of the 49-year-old woman, officials said.

© 2010 AFP

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