A former car dealer has appeared in a French court accused of killing his wife after the pair had a heated row over what to watch on TV.
Expat David Turtle, 67, is said to have ran over his wife Stephanie in his Mercedes E-Class following a heated exchange at their home in Cahors.
The defendant, who worked as a dealer for Peugeot and Mercedes, denies manslaughter and insists he did not see her on the driveway.
He told the Palais de Justice, Cahors that he incident was a tragic accident that ‘broke my heart’.
Prosecutors say that Turtle deliberately ran her over when he lay in front of his car to stop him leaving after an argument which began over what TV programme to watch.
The 50-year-old suffered fatal injuries including a broken collarbone, a broken shoulder bone, several fractured ribs, lesions in her lungs, abdominal trauma and a fractured pelvis.
The former salesman, and local Tory councillor, denied the account and said he had intended to go for a drive to cool off after the argument.
He told the court: ‘I loved my wife.’ ‘What happened has broken my heart.’
The court also heard how Turtle joined the RAF after school and worked in a shoe shop for 20 years before becoming a car dealer.
He and Stephanie met on a singles holiday to Turkey in 1996 and married in the year 2000 before moving to Dorset, where David moved into local politics.
The pair then moved to France in 2016 to open a B&B.
In a blog written shortly before her death, Stephanie joked that her husband ‘mollycoddled’ the car that would eventually kill her.
On the night of her death, in March 2017, prosecutors say she laid down in front of the vehicle in an attempt to stop him leaving and that he knowingly drove over her.
They also believe there is a possibility that she had been knocked unconscious in the row and Turtle had placed her in front of the car.
Major Alain Chauvin, who led the investigation, told the magistrates that none of the witnesses his officers questioned believed the death was accidental.
He added there was no way that Stephanie could have got in front of the £37,000 Mercedes without Turtle seeing.
If found guilty the former dealer faces up to 30 years behind bars.
The trial continues.
Main image: Palais de Justice, Cahors, where the trial is taking place (Google Street View)
- Join our breaking news WhatsApp group
- Listen to the latest Car Dealer Podcast
- Read the latest issue of Car Dealer online now