Friday, March 10, 2006

The Temperature Rises …

If you had followed the news in this part of the world yesterday, then you might have thought that France was falling apart at the seams.

Firstly, sentence had been passed on 46-yr old Christophe Fauviau, who between 2000 and 2003, had drugged 27 of his children's tennis opponents. When no-one was watching, Fauviau would spike opponents court-side drink with an anti-anxiety drug, Temesta. Tennis teacher Alexandre Lagardere, 25, had played Fauviau's son Maxime in July 2003 in a village game - the prize was a leg of ham. Before the match, young Maxim's father went to work and doped Mr Lagardere's drink with up to six tablets. This made him so woozy that Mr Lagardere crashed his car on the way home and died of his injuries.

On other occasions, his children's opponents, one as young as 11, collapsed or felt ill during matches.

Sending him down for 8 years, the prosecution at the trial in Mont-de-Marsan called him a selfish, manipulative liar for whom success for his children justified anything. I'd just call him a bastard and throw away the key, but that's just me.

Just as Fauviau had been kitted out in a natty blue 2-piece prison suit, came the next headline-maker.

A former unnamed teacher calmly walked into a school in Sable-sur-Sarthe (2.5hrs drive west of Paris) and held held 21 students and two adults hostage for several hours.

He had lost his job as a supply teacher at the Colbert de Torcy secondary school two years ago. The 33-year-old man, carrying a handgun, was said to be protesting about his employment problems. According to a receptionist at the school: "He looked normal when he walked in... We let him in because we knew who he was."

The man's demands during the crisis to speak to the media and a former education minister from the region - as well as accounts from school workers who knew him - suggested he was depressed about not finding work for a prolonged period of time. Top local official Stephane Bouillon said the man had respect for the children and wanted "his distress to be dealt with".

Testosterone-filled members of France's elite GIGN protection force were sent for but shortly after they arrived, the man gave himself up. The captives, mostly students aged 16 to 18, were unharmed and the handover passed off calmly.

What next …?

'Pump Action Shotgun Drama In Retirement Home?'



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