A Wigan businessman who murdered his millionairess girlfriend in a Paris hotel has succeeded in getting his jail sentence cut by almost a third.
Ian Griffin, who owned a number of tanning salons in the borough, was sent to prison for 20 years in 2014 after a French jury found him guilty of deliberately battering Kinga Legg to death in 2009.
The 47-year-old, whose partner’s battered body was found in their £1,000-a-night room at the Bristol Hotel, had denied murder, claiming he remembered nothing of the night of his partner’s death.
Presiding judge Didier Safar said the jury decided that Griffin should not benefit from a law saying that a defendant is not liable for his acts because of a “psychological disorder”.
However, they did say his level of responsibly was “changed” by his mental state.
And the French paper Le Parisien last night reported that an appeal lodged by Griffin at an appeal court had been successful in knocking six years off his sentence, so reducing it to 14 years.
At the appeal’s outset at a court in the southern Paris suburb of Evry, Griffin said he did not intend to kill Ms Legg. And he later went on to say he was “incredibly sorry” for her death, blaming a drug addiction for his actions. Close to tears he said: “She was perfect and now she’s gone. All because of those damn drugs.”
Griffin, who was from Warrington but had been living in a Surrey mansion with Kinga, used a wheelchair in court, having developed what was described as a severe neurological disease in jail. He risked having his sentence extended to 30 years by appealing against the sentence had it failed.
The trial heard that Ms Legg died of internal bleeding and was found in the blood-spattered room in with multiple injures and more than 100 marks on her body.
Griffin denied murder, telling the court that he blacked out after arguing with his partner at a restaurant earlier in the evening when she told him: “You owe me sex.”
He claimed he woke up the next day with no recollection of what had happened and found the room in a chaotic state before discovering Ms Legg’s body.
Griffin is said to have fled in his Porsche 911, which was later recovered at an address in Warrington, Cheshire, where he grew up.
He was arrested several days after the warrant was issued, in woodland in Macclesfield.