09/12/2008

Frenchman Jailed For Life For Jessica Attack

A 21-year-old Frenchman has been jailed for life for the attempted murder of a teenage girl as she walked through a park.

Jessica Knight, then 14, was listening to her MP3 player when French national Kristofer Beddar knifed her about 20 times in the chest, neck, stomach and back as she walked through the park in Chorley, Lancashire.

The girl was left for dead in the deserted, darkened park, but was found by passers-by. She underwent five hours of emergency surgery as doctors battled to save her life.
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Beddar, of Daisy Hill Drive, Adlington, described in court as a loner with a fiery temper, had downed half a bottle of whisky before the attack.

He admitted wounding with intent, but claimed he had no memory of attacking Jessica, and had no motive to kill her.

The 21-year-old had tried to dispose of his blood stained clothing after, and told his mother: "Mum, I think it must have been me."

She turned him in to the police.

Jessica, now aged 15, has been left with "long term physical and psychological problems", the court heard.

Beddar was jailed for life with a minimum of 12 years, after being found guilty of attempted murder yesterday at Preston Crown Court.

(JM)

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