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Asylum seeker sentenced to jail over stabbings in south-west France

Perigueux's Saint-Front Cathedral in south-west France.
Perigueux's Saint-Front Cathedral in south-west France. Wikimedia/CC/Père Igor

A young Afghan asylum seeker on Friday was handed a three-year prison sentence, and a one-year suspended sentence, for aggravated assault in the south-western French city of Perigueux.


The 19-year-old has been banned from the south-western Dordogne region for a period of five years.

The Perigueux public prosecutors' office told AFP he will be transferred elsewhere in France to serve his sentence.

The Afghan asylum seeker had been in police custody in Perigueux, where he stabbed four people on Monday, leaving one critically injured. He was held on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and public intoxication.

The young man was drunk when he went on his stabbing attack. He has claimed he does not remember what happened, according to AFP.

Public prosecutors have said they "quickly ruled out" a terrorist motive at the beginning of the investigation.

Local media has reported that the 19-year-old, who had no previous criminal record, suffers from mental health problems.

Drunken stabbings

Police said the young man initially lashed out in front of his home, where he lived with his cousin, also an asylum seeker. He reportedly had an altercation with a group of young women and banged on the hood of a woman's car while she was inside it with her three children.

Two paramedics intervened to try to calm him down, but he disappeared inside his home, returning with a knife and stabbing them in the head and neck.

He then attacked two of his neighbours, brothers aged 64 and 68, leaving one with a perforated lung and the other with stab wounds in the back.

In court on Tuesday, the young man said he had drunk a bottle of whiskey with his cousin that afternoon before the stabbings.

Police said they had to wait until he sobered up to begin questioning him.

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