Frenchman jailed for 30 years for killing in-laws over ‘Nazi gold hoard’

A French man has been sentenced to 30 years for killing four of his in-laws with a crowbar after becoming convinced they were hiding a hoard of gold from him.

Frenchman jailed for 30 years for killing in-laws over 'Nazi gold hoard'
The family were killed in their home in Orvault, near Nantes. Photo: Sebastian Solom Gomis/AFP

The punishment for Hubert Caouissin, 50, fell short of the life sentence demanded by prosecutors, as the jury accepted his lawyers’ argument of diminished responsibility following seven hours of deliberations on Wednesday.

His former partner Lydie Troadec, 52, was sentenced to three years in jail, one suspended, for interfering with a crime scene and concealing a corpse.

Caouissin had already admitted to killing Brigitte and Pascal Troadec, both 49, and their children Charlotte, 18, and Sebastien, 21, at their home in Orvault near western city Nantes on the night of February 16th-17th 2017.

He then spent three days painstakingly dismembering the bodies at his farm, throwing muscles and organs into the bushes in the hope that they would be eaten by animals and burning skin, bones and fat in an oven.

Caouissin was convinced that Pascal Troadec had concealed a family fortune in gold ingots, supposedly a fraction of the reserves transferred from the Bank of France to Canada at the beginning of World War II that had later been discovered in Brest.

He claimed he had visited the family in Orvault to demand “information” on the supposed hoard, and killed his victims in self-defence.

His lawyer Thierry Fillion said the accused was suffering from “chronic paranoid delusions” that have been confirmed by psychologists and psychiatrists.

Defence lawyers urged jurors not to lock Caouissin up for life based on the diagnosis.

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Paris police rescue handbag robber from river Seine

Paris police on Tuesday fished a man out of the Seine river, which he jumped into after he rammed a car into a Valentino store and robbed dozens of luxury handbags.

Paris police rescue handbag robber from river Seine

The 24-year-old suspect smashed into the store around 2am on the high-end Rue Saint-Honoré, a police source said.

He grabbed as many as 30 luxury handbags and other items before attempting to flee in the car.

The man then failed to stop when a police patrol gave chase after spotting him near the central Paris Opéra.

He abandoned the car on Place de la Concorde at the end of the Champs-Elysées, the police source said, before plunging into the nearby river Seine.

But river police quickly fished him out and placed him under arrest.

A source familiar with the case said that the “entirety” of the stolen items had been found.

A second source told AFP that “around 30” handbags – which Valentino lists on its website at between €1,000 and €3,000 – were found in his car.

The suspect now faces an investigation for charges including aggravated robbery and refusal to comply with police, Paris prosecutors said.