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France Court Jails Man 30 Years For Torching Partner

A local resident said she saw the car bursting into flames and the woman getting out of the vehicle like "a human torch".


A court gavel.
A court gavel

 

A French court on Friday sentenced a man to 30 years in jail for burning his partner alive for trying to leave him.

Jonathan Boillet, 36, has been on trial since Tuesday at a criminal court in northern France for murdering 33-year-old Sandy Cucheval in November 2020.

He burnt the mother of four alive in a car they were travelling in. She was admitted to the burn unit at a hospital in the northern city of Lille where she died a week later.

The regional criminal court in the city of Saint-Omer sentenced him to 30 years in prison with a minimum of 20 years without parole, and mandatory treatment for his alcohol and drug addictions.

Boillet initially denied murdering Cucheval, claiming she died as the result of an accident.

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On Thursday he finally said: “It was me who doused her in petrol.”

On the floor of a garage afterwards, Cucheval herself had told a policewoman that Boillet had poured petrol on her and then set her alight.

A local resident said she saw the car bursting into flames and the woman getting out of the vehicle like “a human torch”.

Cucheval had four children, the youngest just three-and-a-half years old at the time.

She had been with Boillet for several months, but wanted to leave him.

At the age of eight, Boillet was sexually assaulted and raped by an uncle eight years his senior. When he was 11, he began abusing alcohol and drugs.

He has an extensive criminal record, including four convictions for domestic violence, and admits having violent outbursts.

On average, one woman is killed every three days in France.

According to the justice ministry, 94 women were killed in 2023.

AFP