One minute saves Frenchman from long hand of the law

1st December 2010, Comments 0 comments

A Frenchman escaped trial for stealing a car after his lawyer proved to the court that at the time of his arrest he was exactly one minute away from becoming an adult.

Lawyer Delphine Branquet said she told the court in the western city of Nantes on Tuesday that her client was arrested on his birthday on November 28 last year.

But after she made enquiries she discovered that he was arrested at 10:49 pm, just one minute before the precise time of his birth 10:50 pm.

"Jurisprudence... shows that the day is not sufficient to establish whether a person is an adult, it is the time of birth that counts," she told AFP.

The court declared it was not competent to try Branquet, who has to appear before a youth court to answer charges of stealing a vehicle and driving without a licence.

© 2010 AFP

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