A British father has admitted slitting the throats of his two young children in France following a difficult divorce, sources said.
It is understood that the 47-year-old man, who has not yet been named, was recently divorced and was looking after his children for the first time since separating from his wife.
His French wife is reported to have come to pick up the five-year-old girl and her 10-year-old brother when he failed to return the children yesterday.
According to French news reports claimed the man was arrested after his former wife spotted him on the stairs to his flat with blood-stained clothes. Several witnesses reportedly spotted the man fleeing the scene, in Saint-Priest, a suburb to the south-east of Lyon, on roller skates.
A police source said:
We believe the man was looking after the children for the first time since he divorced his wife.
He was arrested at the end of yesterday afternoon.
According to reports, a knife was recovered from the murder scene.
Harry Smith reports:
The British suspect is understood to have been living in France for some time, possibly around 10 years.
He and his former wife, an assistant accountant, had gone through a bitter divorce, local reports said.
She was awarded custody of the children following their separation and moved to live in Isere, a region to the south-east of Lyon, while he continued to live in the flat in the four-storey building.
A Foreign Office spokesman said:
We understand that a British national has been arrested in France. We’re in contact with the French authorities and await the outcome of their investigation.
They will provide consular assistance, the Foreign Office added.