A divorced British father with a history of drunkenness and domestic violence has been formally accused of killing his two children, found with their throats cut in his flat in southern France.
Julian Stevenson (47), an unemployed salesman, made a brief, private appearance before a prosecutor and an investigating magistrate at the Palais de Justice in Lyon yesterday afternoon.
Stevenson had lived in France for 10 years. He was banned in 2010 from seeing his children, Mathew (10) and Carla (5) without the presence of his wife or a social worker. This ban was lifted recently and Stevenson spent Saturday with the boy and girl.
Neighbours said that the trio were seen wandering around the Lyon suburb of Saint-Priest apparently happy and relaxed.
When his ex-wife Stephanie came to his apartment to collect the children, she found Stevenson on the stairs with bloodstains on his clothes. According to neighbours, he fled on roller skates. Police broke into the flat and found the bodies of the children.
Investigators said that he confessed to the murders on Sunday.