A man who kidnapped and rapedÂ a woman before she was killedÂ in northern France almost two decades ago tried to poison himself in court moments after being convicted.
Willy Bardon, 45, was on trial over the 2002Â death of Elodie Kulik when he ingested the tablet at the courthouse inÂ AmiensÂ late on Friday.
He was sentenced to 30 years in prison for rape and for kidnapping and holding a person against their will followed by death, but was acquitted of murder.
According to Amiens prosecutor Alexandre de Bosschere, analysis showed Bardon had swallowed a pesticide just seconds after the verdict was announced,Â according to NDTV.
It came at the end of a high-profile trial into one of Franceâs bigger cold cases, in which DNA evidence and witness testimony had led police toÂ Bardon.
Mr de Bosschere said: âThe condition of Willy Bardon was stabilized by the doctors during the night.
âWe do not know Stephanie Daquo how he managed to hide that.â
French journalists inside the courtroom described seeing Bardon swallow an unidentified pill in the defendantâs box.
The victim’s father, Jacky Kulik, broke down in tears as the verdict was announced, while embracingÂ relatives also in court.
He said: “Now justice has been done for Elodie. Tomorrow, I will be able to go to her grave and that of Rose-Marie (hisÂ wife) and tell them that I did my job.”
Mr Kulik’s wife died after a suicide attempt and he also lost two children in a car accident.
Insist he is innocent, telling the court: “I was not there. I am innocent… I swear to you.”
One of his lawyers, StephaneÂ Daquo,Â toldÂ Europe1 radio his client had made the apparent suicide attempt out of desperation.
He said: âIt is clear that Mr Bardon tried to kill himself.
âHe had said repeatedly that he could not bear going back to prison.â
The defendant was placed under police guard at a hospital and an investigation was opened into how he obtained the pill.
Elodie Kilik was kidnapped, raped, strangled and her corpse then burned in 2002 in Tertry.
The 24-year-old bank worker managed to call emergency services moments before she died and the harrowing recording was a key piece of evidence in the trial as six witnesses said they recognized Bardonâs voice on the tape.
Police also used a new DNA searching technique in 2011 which led them to concludeÂ Gregory Wiart, who died in a car accident in 2003, was one of the killers.
Elodieâs father Jacky broke down in tears and hugged family members in court after the verdict was announced.
Follow our Instagram