Australian charged with murder after French tourist stabbed

2016-12-04 22:12
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Sydney - An Australian has been charged with murder after a French tourist was stabbed in the neck in an unprovoked attack in the Australian outback, police say.

The French national - named in local media as 33-year-old Philippe Jegouzo - and his wife were at a rest stop on the Stuart Highway an hour north of Alice Springs on Wednesday when the incident happened.

The alleged attacker, reportedly from the southern city of Melbourne, stabbed Jegouzo who died at the scene, before fleeing in a vehicle.

Police said in a statement: "Northern Territory police have charged a 35-year-old man with murder in relation to the death of a French national at Conners Well on Wednesday evening.

"The man has been remanded in custody to appear in Alice Springs Local Court on Monday. Investigations are continuing."

Jegouzo's wife, named in Australian newspapers as 30-year-old Aurelie Chorier, tried to save her husband by hitting the accused attacker on the head with a picnic table, the NT News reported.

The killing was about 180km from the shooting death of British backpacker Peter Falconio on the Stuart Highway in 2001. Former mechanic Bradley John Murdoch was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder.

Police said the latest attack was a "bizarre" occurence and other travellers should not fear for their safety.

"This is bizarre, obscure and could not have been predicted on any scale," said Detective Superintendent Travis Wurst.

"There are no safety concerns for any tourist or any traveller or any resident of Alice Springs or Central Australia whatsoever."

The Stuart Highway, a popular tourist drive, is the principal north-south route through Australia's remote central interior, spanning nearly 3 000km from Darwin via Alice Springs to Port Augusta.

Read more on:    australia

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