Caroline murder – conviction upheld

The killer of British schoolgirl Caroline Dickinson has lost his appeal against his murder conviction.

Spaniard Francisco Arce Montes was jailed for 30 years last year for the rape and murder of 13-year-old Caroline in 1996.

Caroline, who was from Cornwall, had been on a school trip to Brittany.

Under French law, Mr Montes had the automatic right to appeal the conviction.

The jury at the retrial in St Brieuc, Brittany rejected the appeal this morning.

During the trial, Mr Montes, 55, from Gijon, admitted suffocating Caroline during a sexual assault in the hostel at Pleine Fourgeres, Brittany on July 18, 1996. However, he denied murdering the teenager, telling the court that he had not intended to kill her and when he left the room, he did not think she was dead.

Mr Montes’ defence lawyer had argued that he was mentally ill and needed long-term treatment.

Mr Montes apologised to Caroline’s parents John and Sue and her sister Jenny, who had travelled to France to attend the hearing. He said: “What I did was awful. It was horrendous. I cannot be pardoned. I am sorry and I regret my actions, but I didn’t intend to kill your daughter.”


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