30 years' jail sought for French gardener over British expat's murder

French gardener Jean-Louis Cayrou looks on in a courthouse in southern France during the opening of his trial, in which he is accused of murdering his British former boss and lover Patricia Wilson.
French gardener Jean-Louis Cayrou looks on in a courthouse in southern France during the opening of his trial, in which he is accused of murdering his British former boss and lover Patricia Wilson.PHOTO: AFP

TOULOUSE, France (AFP) - A French gardener accused of murdering his British former boss and lover should be jailed for 30 years, the prosecutor in the case told a court Monday.

"We don't need his confession," Manon Brignol told the court in Toulouse, southwest France. "Everything is perfectly clear."

The only question was what Jean-Louis Cayrou had done with the body of his victim, Patricia Wilson, she added.

The prosecutor painted a portrait of Cayrou as a "jealous" man, arguing that he had been unable to accept that Wilson had ended their relationship.

She reminded the jury of the traces of blood on the defendant's car, the telephone records showing the repeated calls he had made to her shortly before she disappeared, and the "inconsistencies, lies and changing versions" of the story he had offered investigators.

While Cayrou has never been convicted of anything before, the jury could not minimise the seriousness of what had happened, said Brignol.

He deserved a punishment that fitted the crime, and which also took into account his "unacceptable silence" over where he had hidden the body of his victim.

Wilson, 58, was last seen alive on August 17, 2012, at her home in the village of Vabre-Tizac, near Toulouse. Although police found Wilson's bloodstained clothes, her body has never been located.

Cayrou, 54, insists that although he went to Wilson's house that night, the house was in that state when he arrived. He denies killing his former lover.

His lawyer Jacques Levy has complained that throughout the investigation his client has been treated as guilty until proven innocent.