Murdered girl's friend heard cries on night of killing
Friday 24 June 2005
A friend of the British schoolgirl Caroline Dickinson has told a French court that she heard the 13-year-old calling for help on the night that she was raped and killed.
Ann Jasper, 22, broke down in tears as she spoke publicly for the first time about events in the youth hostel at Pleine Fougères in Brittany in July 1996.
"I could hear Caroline mumbling 'Mum' and 'Help' or something like that," she said yesterday. "I could see her wriggling in bed but I thought she was dreaming and I went back to sleep."
Earlier Ms Jasper said that she had been woken up by the sound of "something banging". "I thought it was a bottle top hitting the wall," she said.
Francisco Arce Montes, 55, a Spanish drifter, is appealing against a 30-year jail sentence and his conviction last year for Caroline's murder. He admits raping the girl and accepts responsibility for her death but denies that he meant to kill her.
The assize court in St Brieuc, Brittany, has seen a quite different Montes from the sullen and taciturn man who appeared at the first trial in Rennes last June. In the first three days, Montes has been almost unhelpfully talkative, butting into the proceedings to explain points of fact.
His new-found spirit of co-operation faltered, however, when he was asked to look at pictures of the dead girl's body. "Photos of Caroline? It's not possible. It's horrible," he said.
"You are playing the outraged virgin? You?" said the president of the panel of judges, Jean-Luc Bockel.
The case is expected to end on Tuesday. If Montes's murder conviction is reduced to manslaughter, he may be given a shorter sentence. But by bringing the appeal he risks having his sentence increased.
Lucy Hawking: Stephen Hawking's daughter writes impassioned open letter to Katie Hopkins about rights of disabled people
Oxygen-starved 'dead zones' with no marine life up to 100-miles long discovered in the Atlantic Ocean
General election live: Russell Brand endorses Labour (except in Scotland and Brighton)
How the language you speak changes your view of the world
Russell Brand backs Ed Miliband: 'You gotta vote Labour'
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
Andy McSmith's Sketch: Feisty audience is the real star of an enlightening show
- 2 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 3 Russell Brand backs Ed Miliband: 'You gotta vote Labour'
- 4 General Election 2015: 14-year-old boy asks Nick Clegg – 'can you kill Katie Hopkins?'