Briton charged with France murder
Published 30/01/2013 | 17:32
A British man has been charged with the murder of a woman who was killed while out jogging in France.
Robert Plant, 32, is being held in Montpellier after the badly beaten body of Jouda Zammit was found in brambles earlier this week, local police said.
He is expected to be imprisoned later after police passed the case to an examining judge ahead of a trial.
Gilles Soulie, head of Montpellier's judicial police service, said: "He has been questioned by police over the murder. The police phase of this case is now over and it has been handed to an examining judge to consider. He is in front of the examining judge now and the result of that hearing is that he will almost certainly be imprisoned."
Mr Soulie said a trial would be some months away.
Plant, 32, is understood to come from Chatham in Kent. He is believed to have been staying in Nimes, in south-west France, with his mother, who lives in the region.
Ms Zammit, a mother of three, was found lying near a cemetery, a few hundred metres from the local police academy and detention centre in Nimes last Thursday afternoon.
The 33-year-old, who was of Tunisian origin, appeared to have been badly beaten, with blows to her face and neck. Traces of blood were found on two stones and a blade which were discovered close to her body, according to regional newspaper La Depeche.
Ms Zammit was said to go jogging regularly in the quiet Courbessac area where she lived, often going out for around 20 minutes before collecting her children from school. She was reported missing by her partner after he was contacted by the children's school when she failed to pick them up last Thursday.
Police mounted a search and her body was discovered shortly after 10pm. A post-mortem examination revealed that she had suffered knife wounds in the attack. Nimes prosecutor Laure Beccuau told La Depeche: "A knife was seized, among other things." It will now be down to the examining judge to mount a case against Plant ahead of a trial.