FEMICIDE

Life sentence for French man who murdered the mother of his two children

In the crowd gathered to remember Julie Douib, a woman carries a rose and a photograph of this young mother of two who was murdered by her ex-partner in Corsica in March 2019.
In the crowd gathered to remember Julie Douib, a woman carries a rose and a photograph of this young mother of two who was murdered by her ex-partner in Corsica in March 2019. Lucas BARIOULET / AFP

A man who murdered the mother of his two children on the French Mediterranean island of Corsica in March 2019 has been sentenced to life in prison. The court ordered that the 44-year-old killer must serve at least 22 years of the sentence behind bars.

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Julie Douib was shot dead at point blank range by her former partner of 14 years, Bruno Garcia-Cruciani, a few days after prosecutors had closed a case she took against her killer, alleging threatening behaviour, harassment and assault.

A court in the city of Bastia on Wednesday rejected 44-year-old Garcia-Cruciani's claim that Douib's death was accidental, ruling that he had acted with premeditation.

It sentenced him to life in prison with no possibility of parole for 22 years and also stripped him of parental authority over the couple's two boys, now aged 11 and 13.

Douib, who was 34 at the time of her death, was one of 146 people killed by a current or former partner in France in 2019. She was in a new relationship at the time.

Her killing outraged campaigners against gender violence, who accused the state of failing to protect her.

On-line research into living in Thailand

The investigation revealed that Garcia-Cruciani had done on-line research on murder sentences and living in Thailand before going to Douib's home and shooting her.

Garcia-Cruciani's lawyer Camille Radot had appealed to the court not to make an example of his client to appease public anger over domestic violence, saying he was "not a monster".

In the aftermath of Douib's death French lawmakers introduced the use of electronic tracking bracelets for domestic violence offenders that alert women as well as police if known abusers approach their victims.

President Emmanuel Macron's government also pledged to boost training for police on how to handle domestic violence cases and to create 1,000 new places in emergency shelters for victims.

In 2020, the number of women killed by a current or former partner in France fell to 90.

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