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CRIME

Jury returns guilty verdict for child killer

A jury of seven women and two men on Friday delivered a guilty verdict in the case of José Breton, accused of murdering his two young children and burning their bodies.

Jury returns guilty verdict for child killer
Bretón could face 40 years in prison for the double murder. Photo: Rafa Alcaide/Pool/AFP

After a protracted trial that enthralled and sickened the Spanish public, the nine-member jury found Breton guilty of murdering his children, Ruth, aged 6, and José, aged 2.

Bretón had originally told police that he lost the two children in a park.

But the jury found he had first drugged the children — either to send them to sleep, or to kill them — before burning their bodies in a bonfire 'kiln' oven on his parents' property.

Read The Local's gripping profile of José Bretón.

The unanimous verdict of the jury came after over three days of deliberation.

It was announced in a jury statement read out on Friday in the provincial court of Cordoba, Spain.

Breton remained calm while the jury gave answers to 22 questions posed by the court. Jurors were unanimous on all points.

The lawyer for the prosecution in the case, María Ángeles Rojas Delgado, is seeking a sentence of 40 years for Breton.

Sentencing is expected to follow.

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CRIME

Man sets himself ablaze outside Morocco consulate in Madrid

A man was seriously injured after setting himself on fire outside the Moroccan consulate in Madrid on Tuesday, police and diplomatic sources told AFP.

Man sets himself ablaze outside Morocco consulate in Madrid

It took place in a northeastern district of the Spanish capital at around midday and the man was taken to hospital in a serious condition, the emergency services said.

“We treated a man who had suffered serious burns and took him to La Paz hospital,” an emergency services spokesman told AFP.

Police sources confirmed the man “had set himself on fire outside the Moroccan consulate” but were unable to give further details.

Details of the incident were confirmed by a Moroccan diplomatic source.

“The person set himself on fire next to the consulate. We have no idea why
he did it. It happened very quickly,” the source told AFP.

“There was no contact with the consulate, it happened just outside.”

Unconfirmed media reports said the man was a Moroccan national in his 40s,
with an eyewitness telling Spain’s RTVE public television he saw what happened
while driving past.

“I saw him running and there were people behind him trying to pull his clothes off,” said the witness, who gave his name as Rasheed, adding that he saw someone running over with a fire extinguisher to try and put out the flames.

“From the way the flames were starting from his head, I think he had poured
petrol over himself.”

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