Paris murder accused breaks down in dock

Ian Griffin (below) is accused of murdering former Blackpool businesswoman, Kinga Legg, who was found dead in Paris in 2009.
Ian Griffin (below) is accused of murdering former Blackpool businesswoman, Kinga Legg, who was found dead in Paris in 2009.
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An argument about sex in a crowded restaurant ended with a millionaire former Blackpool-based businesswoman being bludgeoned to death in a five star Paris hotel room, a court heard.

Ian Griffin, 45, broke down in tears as he described how his row with Kinga Legg, 36, escalated on what had otherwise been ‘a fantastic visit’ to the French capital.

During his murder trial at Paris Assizes, Griffin insisted that he had never intended to kill his 

But he admitted ‘cleaning up’ their £1,000-a-night room at the five star Bristol Hotel for up to six hours while Ms Legg’s body was still in it, at one point contemplating “smuggling a vacuum cleaner in.”

Recalling the start of their vicious row at the Bound restaurant, off the Champs Elysee, in May 2009, Griffin said Ms Legg, who was previously married and lived in Blackpool a decade ago, had shouted: “You owe me sex.”

Griffin shouted back: “My God, not here!”, as he explained how medication had dampened his libido.

The couple, who had been due to marry in Monaco the following August, had agreed a pact in which Griffin was not allowed to contact former girlfriends, but Ms Legg still felt frustrated.

Ms Legg allegedly withheld eight of the anti-depressant pills Griffin was used to, in a bid to “be intimate with me”, said Griffin, who was left with just two pills.

“She wanted sex and expressed it loudly, and when I asked her to be quite she got even more angry, so I shouted ‘That’s It!’,” said Griffin, who faces up to 30 years in prison if found guilty of murder.

“I was so upset too, as we were having a fantastic trip and it ruined everything in just one minute,” said Griffin.

The pair made their own way back to the Bristol, where, after a vodka in the bar, Griffin opened the door of their room, to be confronted by Ms Legg saying: “Why did you leave me alone? How dare you leave me alone in Paris.”

Griffin, originally from Warrington, had intended to return to Britain straight away, but instead the argument intensified, with furniture being broken, and thrown about.

Griffin said: “Everything went black” at that point, but: “I woke up the next day, and looked at the room, it was terrible. I spent the day cleaning the room. I was going to get Kinga to smuggle in a vacuum cleaner.

“I then called out her name. I unmade the bed because I thought she was between the mattresses. There was a big stain of blood. I didn’t know she wasn’t there. I thought she was in bed. I had no idea.

“I was really messed up. I was in such a state. All I was thinking of was getting the room cleaned up. The TV was broken, everything was broken.”

Asked by presiding Judge Didier Safar if had seen the photos of Ms Legg’s corpse, which was found floating in a bath, and had around 100 bruises on it, Griffin said “No, I only noticed she has a black eye.”

Griffin said he did not think Ms Legg was dead until around six-and-a-half hours after he woke up on May 24, the day after their restaurant meal. The judge said: “That means you remained five or six hours in the presence of a corpse in a bedroom covered in blood”, to which Griffin replied: “Yes”.

Griffin admitted that his “priority when I woke up was to clean the room”, but when he finally saw Ms Legg’s body lying on the floor, his reaction was to “warm her up” in the bath. “She was very cold,” added Griffin, who said he screamed: “Kinga, Kinga, Kinga, please don’t go, please don’t go.”

“I didn’t know she was dead. It was confusing. I moved her arm, but somehow thought if I put her in the bath it would warm her up. She was stiff.”

When he finally realised she was in fact dead, a tearful Griffin said: “I wanted to die.

“I couldn’t cope with what had happened.”

He thought of jumping out of the window of the fifth floor room, but then decided he wanted to commit suicide ‘back home’ after seeing his parents for the last time.

The prosecution alleges that Griffin was ‘thinking lucidly’ because he put a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on the door of the room, and booked an extra two nights, before heading off in his Porsche 911.

Judge Safar said: ‘You did not want Kinga Legg’s body to be discovered before you had put sufficient distance between yourself and the Bristol’. Griffin replied: ‘Yes’.

Polish-born Ms Legg , who also used her maiden name Wolf, ran a successful firm exporting tomatoes from Poland to major companies.

The trial is expected to last until Friday.