Beds, Herts & Bucks

Patricia Wilson case: Jean-Louis Cayrou denies murder of 'lover'

Patricia Wilson (right) with her mother Jean Image copyright Slater and Gordon/PA
Image caption Patricia Wilson (right, pictured with her mother Jean) had been living in a hamlet near the village of Vabre-Tizac when she disappeared

A gardener has denied the premeditated murder of a British woman, said to be his lover, who vanished in the south of France four years ago.

Patricia Wilson, 58, formerly of Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, vanished from her home in August 2012. Her body has never been found.

Jean-Louis Cayrou, 54, of La Salvetat-Peyrales, told a court in Rodez near Toulouse that the case was "lies".

The court heard the pair had an affair after her partner returned to Britain.

Mrs Wilson had been living in a hamlet called Les Landes Basses near the village of Vabre-Tizac.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Jean-Louis Cayrou appeared at the Cour d'Assizes de L'Aveyron in Rodez

She moved to the area with her partner Donald Marcus in 2008.

Judge Regis Cayrol said the missing woman began an affair with the defendant in 2012 - about six months after Mr Marcus left to receive treatment for multiple sclerosis.

The court heard that the relationship between Mr Cayrou and Mrs Wilson had deteriorated by mid-July 2012 and that she confided in friends that they had had an argument when she tried to end it.

It was alleged by her friends that Mr Cayrou entered her house on 25 July, cut the electricity, attempted to suffocate her while she was sleeping and said: "I am doing this to show that you need a man in the house."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Mrs Wilson's partner Donald Marcus arrived at the Rodez courthouse in a wheelchair

Mrs Wilson returned to England between 8 and 17 August and the judge told the court the defendant was said to have bombarded her with calls.

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Upon her return to France, friends became concerned about her lack of contact, let themselves into her house on 22 August and found traces of blood, the court heard.

French police found blood and DNA in the boot of the defendant's car, on a head torch and a strap, the court heard.

Mr Cayrou, who lived in a caravan, protested as the judge read out the charge of premeditated murder, saying they were "lies".

The hearing continues.