Man jailed for Paris murder of millionaire

Tragic case: Kinga Legg. Below ' Ian Griffin has been jailed
Tragic case: Kinga Legg. Below ' Ian Griffin has been jailed
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The brother of a former Blackpool businesswoman found murdered in a Paris hotel room has welcomed the decision to jail her killer for 20 years.

Ian Griffin, 45, remained impassive as a judge in the French capital sentenced him for the brutal killing of millionaire Kinga Legg, 36, at the five star Bristol hotel in May 2009.

Ian Griffin, who is suspected of murdering Kinga Legg

Ian Griffin, who is suspected of murdering Kinga Legg

The couple had been on a glamorous trip to the south of France to get married in Monaco, but Griffin was seeing another woman, 34-year-old Tracy Baker, at the same time.

Ms Baker, who had a child with Griffin after he was controversially released on bail last year, was also in the Paris Assizes when the jury verdict was read out tonight by Judge Didier Safar.

She was overcome with emotion, as she saw the frail Griffin, who was on crutches, led to the cells.

After the verdict was read out, Ms Legg’s brother, Marek Wolf, said: “I need to say it was the correct verdict.”

Referring to the legal process which started when Griffin was extradited to France in 2011, Mr Wolf, added: “I’m glad after three years the trial is finished but nobody can give my sister back to me or my parents.”

A few hours earlier, Griffin had told the court that he wanted to apologise to Ms Legg’s parents, saying: “To think I could do that to the girl I love, that’s killing me.

“I have been through every regret, every emotion. I would give my life for her’s tomorrow.”

But prosecutor Philippe Courroye said he failed to believe any of the versions Griffin offered for the murder, saying the case was a classic one of “violence against women.”

The prosecutor also dismissed suggestions that Griffin, was a successful businessman, saying he had “no official income” and lived off his girlfriends and wealthy parents.

Pointing to Griffin sitting a few feet away, sitting with his crutches beside him and claiming to be seriously ill, Mr Courroye said: “He is trying to fool you. He lies to everyone, and, through his lies, he kills for a second time.

‘The intention of homicide is obvious,” said Mr Courroye, referring to the gruesome murder.

Ms Legg’s body was found in the bath of the couple’s £1,000-a-night room, after Griffin, who claims it was all “an accident”, fled to England in his Porsche 911 sports car.

Griffin, who is originally from Warrington, Cheshire, said he went into “black hole” of memory loss caused by alcohol and anti-depressants.

Injuries

But Mr Courroye told said on the final day of Griffin’s murder trial: “There were more than 100 bruises, 17 on the skull, 33 on the chest.

“They ranged from the face to the feet. If there were so many injuries, it is because he wanted to kill her.

“The autopsy revealed the power of the blows. It was a martyred body. She was beaten to death. This is a subject that has a name – violence against women.”

Griffin has been living freely on bail for the past year-and-a-half with Ms Baker and the couple have just had a baby together.

Both have portrayed Ms Legg, a wealthy businesswoman who was earning more than a quarter of a million pounds year, as a violent alcoholic who regularly attacked Griffin.

Mr Courroye said there was ‘ongoing violence’ between Griffin and Ms Legg, especially while he was sharing his affections with Ms Baker.

Mr Courroye rubbished claims that Griffin’s memory had “disappeared into a black hole” at the time of Ms Legg’s death.

“It is impossible to believe this state of amnesia, this savage aggression,” said Mr Courroye, pointing to photographs which showed “blood everywhere, broken furniture.”

Referring to Griffin trying to clean up the crime scene, before booking another two nights in the room, and then escaping.

Mr Courroye said: “Is Ian Griffin mad? Is he incoherent? Is he panicking? No, he wants to buy time, he wants to put distance between him and the crime scene.

“This organisation shows coherence to his thoughts.’”

Mr Courroye said there was no possibility of Griffin’s heavy drinking being used as an excuse for the murder.

Mr Courroye called on the jury not to reduce Griffin’s sentence because of his vulnerable image, insisting it was all a show for the court.

A tearful Ms Baker was said to have “broke into a million pieces” when she heard Griffin’s fiancée had been found dead.

Ms Baker said Griffin had ‘an unbelievably turbulent relationship with’ Ms Legg and ‘couldn’t cope with his emotional outbursts.’