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French jail suicide of killer father

By Martha Linden

A British father being held in France following the killing of his two children is believed to have committed suicide.

Julian Stevenson was found hanged on Monday in a sports hall at Corbas prison near Lyon, assistant prosecutor Pascal Guinot said.

A post-mortem had been due to take place into his death but there was "no doubt" that he had taken his own life, he said.

The 47-year-old appeared in court in France in May after allegedly slitting the throats of his daughter (5) and son (10) after having been given unsupervised access to them for the first time since 2010.

It is thought his former wife discovered the bloody scene when she arrived at his flat in Saint-Priest, to the south-east of Lyon, and found her former husband standing on the stairway in blood-stained clothes.

Reports suggested she had gone to his home after he failed to return the children after the visit.

Stevenson was held after witnesses reportedly spotted him fleeing the area on roller skates. He had been living in France for around 10 years.

According to local reports, Stevenson and his then wife, an assistant accountant, had gone through an acrimonious divorce.

She was awarded custody of the children and moved to the south-east of Lyon, while he continued to live in his flat.

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