Niece of British defence minister on trial for killing of lover in sex game
Published 11/01/2010 | 05:00
A British woman goes on trial for murder in France today accused of slashing the throat of a man she picked up while high on a cocktail of alcohol and anti-depressants.
Jessica Davies (30), the niece of Britain's defence minister Quentin Davies, faces up to 30 years in prison, rather than life, because of the nature of the charge.
She is alleged to have cut Olivier Mugnier's artery during a violent sex game and while "horrifically drunk". Mr Mugnier (24) had "at least" two knife wounds, with one that cut through the throat.
Ms Davies reportedly told judges she was at a loss to explain what had happened, saying she had a "blackout" over the incident in November 2007 at her flat in St Germain-en-Laye, a Paris suburb.
She is to stand trial for "voluntary homicide without premeditation" rather than manslaughter as prosecutors insist she was of sound mind when the attack took place.
Under French law, only premeditated murder carries a life sentence.
Psychiatric experts who examined her told investigators she had a disturbed, "borderline" personality and they believed she was in an "altered" state -- casting doubt over whether she was fully responsible for her actions.
She reportedly told them that she had attempted suicide the previous summer and had made other attempts at self-mutilation afterwards, although she never needed hospital treatment.
She reportedly went on a wild drinking session after splitting up with her French fiance, a jeweller.
A police inquiry found that Ms Davies had been on a bar crawl on the night of the incident, finishing at O'Sullivans, an Irish pub near her one-bedroom flat.
It was there that she met Mr Mugnier, an unemployed French graduate, at around midnight, before going with him to her flat where he was found dead at around 2.30am.
Ms Davies, who has a French mother, was trying to stem the blood when police arrived but was too drunk to talk or stand up. (© Daily Telegraph, London)