A 47 year-old British man has appeared in a French court charged with the murder of his two children following a bitter divorce from his wife.
Julian Stevenson’s two children, aged five and ten, were killed during their first unsupervised visit to his flat in Lyon on Saturday afternoon.
According to reports, Stevenson was later seen fleeing the apartment building on rollerskates dressed in bloodstained clothes.
He has now been placed ‘under investigation’ for the murders, The Guardian reports – the equivalent under French law of being charged with the crime. He will undergo a psychiatric examination.
Stevenson and his French wife Stephanies separated three years ago amidst allegations of domestic violence. Following the couple’s acrimonious divorce, Stevenson was allowed only restricted access to his children prior to last weekend. He had reportedly refused to sell the jointly owned flat in which the children’s bodies were found.
A neighbour said he had appeared “a bit unstable” following the divorce. Another neighbour told journalists that he had been seen the man out with his children on Saturday morning:
“He was wearing a T-shirt and shorts and the children were smiling and happy. They appeared to be enjoying a day out with their dad. He bought them little presents, including sweets and did not appear to be upset in any way.”