11 June 2004
RENNES – A friend of the Spaniard accused of murdering Caroline Dickinson told a court Friday the accused carried a photograph of the 13-year-old British schoolgirl in his wallet.
Eduardo Suarez told a trial in Rennes, western France, how Francisco Arce Montes, 54, said he met Caroline at a Brittany hostel and boasted of having sex with her.
He said Montes was well known in his home town of Gijon as “being somebody who was attracted to young girls”.
Montes denies killing Caroline in 1996 but has admitted sexual assault.
He said she was a pretty girl, a little china doll, and that we would never be able to pick her up Witness Eduardo Suarez
He told the court on Friday how Montes had shown the photograph he carried of Caroline to friends and boasted of sexual relations with her.
Suarez, a salesman, said: “He showed me the photograph of an English girl and he said she was called Caroline Dickinson.
“He said she was a pretty girl, a little china doll, and that we would never be able to pick her up.”
Suarez added that Montes’ photograph, which he also showed to other friends, was apparently signed by the girl or her parents.
He said the suspect said he had met Caroline after seeing her playing in the hostel garden with other girls.
“He said he made love to her and this photo was in the girl’s bag.
“I said ‘what happened next?’ He said ‘nothing, she left’.”
Suarez said Montes’ neighbour in Gijon had stopped her 10-year-old daughter talking to the defendant because of his reputation.
He said his friendship with Montes had ended when he threatened to kill him in a fit of temper after their car was broken into on a trip.
Caroline Dickinson was attacked in her hostel room in Pleine-Fougeres in July 1996.
Suarez said: “He said ‘I’m not like your other friends. I don’t care about going to prison. I can kill someone without any problem’.
“I wanted to jump out of the car. He said ‘if you leave me by the side of the road I will kill you in Gijon’. That was the end of our friendship.”
Earlier, a former lover of Montes told the court on Thursday their relationship began after he sexually assaulted her.
Christine Le Menes gave evidence behind closed doors in which she said she met ex-partner Montes when he broke into her hostel bedroom in Holland in 1981 and assaulted her.
Judge Fabienne Doroy relayed Ms Le Menes’ evidence to Montes and said it differed from his account of their relationship.
He said: “She said you walked into her room without her permission – the girls’ room in a youth hostel in Holland where she was alone.
“She had the feeling you didn’t know the place. She didn’t know how to react because she was nervous.
“You started undoing the zipper on her sleeping bag. You touched her sexually which she didn’t want.”
Defence lawyer Olivier Dersoir said the judge’s summary of Ms Le Menes’ evidence had omitted vital details about her loving feelings for Montes.
Earlier, Montes said Ms Le Menes, with whom he went on to have a child, had allowed him into her room.
The case continues.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news