Warning over suspect in Paris hotel murder

British businessman wanted by French police is described as 'dangerous'
Click to follow
The Independent Online

French police last night warned that a British businessman on the run after murdering his Polish girlfriend was, "dangerous and volatile".

Ian Griffin, 40, disappeared in his Porsche hours before Kinga Legg's body was discovered in the room they had shared at one of the best hotels in Paris. Cleaners at Le Bristol, which charges as much as £2,000 a night for a suite, became suspicious after a "do not disturb" sign had been in place for hours. After getting no response from the room, they entered to find a scene of devastation and smashed furniture. Ms Legg, 36, was discovered slumped in the bath, blood smeared across the walls.

Ms Legg, who was said to have had a turbulent relationship with her boyfriend of three years, arrived at the hotel on Monday night and was joined several hours later by Mr Griffin. They then they shared several bottles of champagne at the hotel near the Elysées Palace.

Mr Griffin called for his Porsche 911 and drove off without checking out of the room on Tuesday night. One theory put forward yesterday is that he could have headed for Ms Legg's yacht in the French Riviera.

Police on the Côte d'Azur have warned members of the public not to approach Mr Griffin. "Port and harbour authorities have also been told to stay alert for anyone matching his description," a spokesman said.

Last night police in Cheshire, from where Mr Griffin is from, and Surrey, where the couple were said to live in a £4m mansion, were both helping with the investigation but refused to reveal any further details. "Cheshire police are aware of the French murder inquiry relating to the death of Kinga Legg," said a spokesman.

"We are also aware that the investigation may have links to the Cheshire area and we are making inquiries at premises linked to individuals within the case. Surrey police are making similar enquiries at an address in Surrey. At this point in the investigation it would not be appropriate to go into more detail."

Mr Griffin's father, Bernard, from Warrington, Cheshire, said he had not seen his son for some time.

Ms Legg, originally from Poland, was described as the owner of Vegex, a successful company based in Surrey that supplies tomatoes to British supermarkets and chain restaurants. But police revealed that Mr Griffin was bankrupt after a string of failed businesses, and may have been living off his wealthy girlfriend.

Detective Henri Moreau, of the French Brigade Criminal, said: "Apparently Griffin did not do much in the way of earning a living. It is possible that he lived off her. (He) had a bad business record and was known for bankruptcy. British police are inquiring into his background. The couple clearly had a lot of money."