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Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Just how guilty is Gabriel Armandou of killing his wife?

The trial has opened in the Parisian suburb of Creteil of Gabriel Armandou, a man accused of killing his wife.

It's certainly no cut and dried case, leaving you perhaps wondering who exactly was the victim and at the same time maybe how you would have reacted in the same circumstances.

Gabriel Armandou (screenshot from TF1 news report)

For beginners Armandou is 79 years old and the crime for which he stands accused is that of the murder of his wife Paulette back in September 2008.

She was reportedly discovered by their son one evening, dead and almost naked, lying on the  family's sitting room floor, with multiple injuries and bruises.

An autopsy revealed that Paulette had suffered blows to the neck, chest and back.

When questioned by the police, Armandou said he didn't know why he had done it and that he had simply lost control and "cracked" under the pressure.

But of course, that's not the whole story.

The couple had been married for 48 years and in 2000 Paulette was diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

Armandou apparently didn't want any outside help and had refused to have his wife committed to a specialised care home, preferring to look after her himself.

In the three months preceding her death, Paulette's condition had deteriorated significantly, putting Armandou under increasing pressure.

But he continued to care for his wife because, in the words of his lawyer Arnaud Richard, "He had promised to help and support his wife to the very end. The couple belonged to a generation where outside help wasn't sought."

Armandou is neither denying he killed his wife, nor does he have an explanation as to why he committed an act which he, in his own words, "doesn't understand."

"If I'm found guilty, I will be found guilty," he told the court during the first day of his trial.

"It won't change anything. My wife is dead and I loved her."

The trial is due to finish on Wednesday and a decision expected shortly afterwards.

Armandou could face a maximum 20-year sentence.

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