British man held by police investigating murder and sexual assault of female jogger in France


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The Independent Online

A 32-year-old British man has been arrested by French police investigating the murder and sexual assault of a woman jogger in the southern city of Nimes last week.

The man, who has not been named but is from Chatham in Kent, lives with his parents in a house 300 metres from the secluded footpath where the woman’s body was found in a clump of brambles.

He was arrested on last night after a doctor said that scratches on his hands and arms could have been caused by bramble spines. According to the website of the France 2 television channel, his DNA matches traces found on the woman’s body.

Jouddia Zimat, 33, a mother of three, was attacked while out for her daily jog at Courbessac, near Nimes in the south of France, last Thursday.

She was beaten with a heavy object and her face was slashed by a cardboard cutter – the  blade was found nearby.

A similar cutter was found in the suspect’s home, according to another TV channel, France 3.

Investigators say that Ms Zimat was sexually assaulted but not raped. They believe that she fought her assailant for several minutes.