Man held over death of woman in Paris hotel

Cheshire Police arrest 39-year-old businessman after international manhunt
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The Independent Online

A 39 year-old-man was arrested by Cheshire Police in yesterday in connection with the murder of the Polish businesswoman Kinga Legg, who was found battered to death in her Paris hotel room last Tuesday.

An international manhunt has since been underway for her lover, the businessman Ian Griffin, who was reported to have left the scene in his Porsche 911. A police spokeswoman said: “Cheshire Police have arrested a 39- year-old man in connection with the French investigation into the death of Kinga Legg in Paris on 25 May.

“The man was arrested in woodland in the area of Chelford in Macclesfield at 3.30pm today. At this stage it would appear that the man has been living rough in a tent. Cheshire Police are liaising with the French authorities.”

He is being held at the East Cheshire custody suite in Middlewich.

The news follows revelations that MsLegg attacked Mr Griffin, a former male model, with a stun gun on the night she was killed.

His ex-lover Tracey Baker said Mr Griffin had contacted her and told her he had had a “massive fight” with Ms Legg, 36, and that he had fought back in self defence. She said that Ms Legg had “attacked him with a stun gun disguised as a lipstick, which she bought earlier in the day in Paris”.

Mr Griffin’s Porsche 911 was found at an address in Warrington, Cheshire, where he grew up. His parents were interviewed by police but said they have not been in contact with him. He is also known to have visited Shepperton Marina, where he and Ms Legg kept a motorboat.

Friends have said that Mr Griffin and Ms Legg had a “stormy relationship”.

He had ended up bankrupt despite making millions from a chain of tanning salons and owed his extravagant lifestyle to his lover’s wealth.

Ms Legg had applied for French residency after the success of her business exporting tomatoes to western European supermarkets. Mr Griffin may have feared he would be unable to settle in France as French authorities had previously accused him of fraud.

They had attended the Grand Prix in Monaco at the weekend. Ms Legg then checked in to Paris’s famous £1,000-a-night Hotel Du Bristol – a favoured spot of President Nicolas Sarkozy – on the Monday and was joined by Mr Griffin the next day.

The couple were reported to have drunk “copious” amounts of champagne.

Mr Griffin left the hotel in his car and a maid discovered Ms Legg’s body several hours later. She had apparently been punched several times and hit with a hat stand.

Mr Griffin returned to the couple’s rented mansion in Oxshott, Surrey, which police say was found ransacked, and he then went to Shepperton Marina, where he was agitated to find that work on his motorboat, Madog, had not been completed and it was not seaworthy.

He may have been intending to reach the £1.2m yacht Overdraftwhich his girlfriend had leased and moored near Perpignan the week before.

Ms Legg’s firm, Vegex, had grown out of a farmer’s co-operative in the Polish village of Opatowek, near Kalisz. Her business led her to meet a Lancashire council worker, Peter Legg, in 1995, while still named Kinga Wolf. They were married but separated and Ms Legg met Mr Griffin three years ago. He had recently gone bankrupt after running several businesses.

Her father, Jan Wolf, a former mayor in Poland, said: “Our sorrow is overflowing. My daughter helped create many jobs here and people in the village perhaps do not realise how successful she was.”