A court in Paris has sentenced British businessman Ian Griffin to 20 years behind bars for the murder of his Polish millionaire girlfriend Kinga Legg in 2009.
Speaking during the trial, the 45-year-old man declared his innocence, asking the court “how could I kill a woman I loved?”, adding that he would give his own life for the 36-year-old Legg.
However, the British businessman, who is said to have had financial trouble in the years running up the murder, was not able to explain to the court what exactly happened on the night of Legg’s death.
The Associated Press cites police reports that a maid at the Parisian Hotel Bristol found the naked body of Legg in a bathroom. She had been badly beaten, and later died of internal bleeding.
Both Legg and Griffin were checked into the hotel at the time of the death.
“I am pleased that the trial is over after three years, although no one can return my sister to me or my parents,” Legg’s brother Marek Wolf said following the sentence.
Prior to her death, Legg was in charge of Vegex, her family’s tomato export business from Poland to the UK. The company managed to do well on the British market, quickly turning a profit.
Griffin, who is from Warrington the UK county of Cheshire, ran a chain of tanning salons in north-east England among other ventures, although his business failed, with reports that he was dependent on Legg’s fortune since 2006.
It is alleged that Griffin and Legg had a tempestuous relationship, although they had wanted to get married. According to Griffin’s friends, Legg obsessively dominated the relationship.
Following Legg’s death, Griffin fled to England and was in hiding for a week before being taken into custody on the basis of a European Arrest Warrant. He was extradited from the UK in 2011 to hear charges of murder in France. (jb)
Photo: Marcin Bielecki/PAP/EPA