Husband who beat and strangled wife to death before burning body in woods jailed

A man has been jailed for killing his wife – after he initially tried to cover his tracks by reporting that she had gone missing.

French national Jonathan Daval has been sentenced to 25-years behind bars for the brutal murder of his wife, Alexia.

The 36-year-old finally confessed to beating and strangling his wife to death before burning her body in woodland in a case that has shocked France.

The charred remains of 29-year-old Alexia were discovered under branches near the town of Gray-la-Ville in Eastern France in October 2017.

Daval had tried to get away with murder by claiming his wife had gone out for a jog, never to return.

However, he ultimately confessed to his crime three months after the murder took place, admitting he attacked his wife during a heated argument, smashed her face against a concrete wall, and strangled her.

He went on to deny he had set her body on fire, but later admitted he had done this as well.

The Guardian reports that the Frenchman showed no emotion as his sentence was read out in court, but had muttered "Sorry" while in the doc and looking towards his wife’s parents.

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Isabelle Fouillot, Alexia’s mother, told reporters following the sentencing: "It is a very good decision, exactly what I hoped, at the height of our suffering.

"That will allow us to turn a page."

Asked directly by the judge in the trial last Monday whether he admitted "being the only person implicated in the death" of his wife, Daval replied: "Yes."

The brutal murder shocked members of the public – with a 10,000 strong march taking place in Gray-la-Ville for a silent march in Alexia’s memory during the course of the trial.

French authorities revealed last week that 125,840 women were victims of domestic violence in 2019.

While a further 146 were reported murdered by a partner or ex-partner over the course of the same year – a 25 person increase since 2018.

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