Mistress 'meant to kill' billionaire S&M lover

Jury rejects 'crime of passion' plea over murder of one of France's richest men

The macabre killing of one of France's wealthiest men was an intentional murder and not a "crime of passion", a Swiss jury decided yesterday.

Cécile Brossard, 40, was found guilty of murdering her lover, the financier Edouard Stern, while he was bound to a chair in a latex body-suit at his flat in Geneva in February 2005.

The 12 jurors rejected Brossard's defence that she had been overcome by passion after her long-term lover had called her a "whore". However, the jury accepted that the French woman had acted in a state of "diminished responsibility". She may therefore be given a relatively short jail term when sentence is passed today.

M. Stern, 50, was one of France's most influential men and a personal friend of the future President, Nicolas Sarkozy. He and Brossard had a four-year sado-masochistic affair before they quarrelled over her demands for a payment of $1m as a "token of his love".

After M. Stern first paid, then blocked, the money, Brossard admitted shooting him during an elaborate sexual game. Her lawyers argued the killing was a "crime of passion", provoked when the banker said: "A million dollars is a lot of money to pay for a whore." Under Swiss law, a lighter sentence can be passed if a murderer is found guilty of a crime of passion.

After retiring for eight hours, the jury agreed M. Stern had provoked his lover, but they rejected the defence argument that she had been overcome by uncontrollable emotion. Brossard's murderous act – shooting M. Stern twice in the head and twice in the body – was not emotionally "excusable", the jury decided. She could have "run away, cried or collapsed rather than commit murder".

The jurors also pointed to her "calculating, cynical and manipulative" acts after the shooting. Brossard tried to create an alibi by flying to Sydney and then straight back to Europe.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Personal Tax Senior

£28000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer and Markets Development Executive

£22000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company's mission is to ma...

Recruitment Genius: Guest Services Assistant

£13832 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This 5 star leisure destination on the w...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Account Manager

£20000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Account Manager is requ...

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory