French hunters who accidentally killed British man ‘made light of his death because he was English’

18 November 2022, 12:47

Morgan Keane's friends paid tribute to him in December 2021
Morgan Keane's friends paid tribute to him in December 2021. Picture: Getty
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

A group of French hunters that shot and killed a British man regarded his death 'less serious' because he was English, the victim's family lawyer has said.

Julien Féral, 35, apologised yesterday for accidentally shooting dead Morgan Keane, 25, in 2020, telling the court in south-west France: "It marked me for life".

Keane's death sparked outrage after he was shot while cutting wood in the village of Calvignac in southern France.

Féral, who fired the fatal shot, and the organiser of the hunt, went on trial yesterday, after they were charged for involuntary manslaughter, the Daily Mail reports. The pair could face three years in prison on top of a 75,000 euro fine.

Portraits and candles are displayed during a white march to pay tribute to Morgan Keane
Portraits and candles are displayed during a white march to pay tribute to Morgan Keane. Picture: Getty

Before the trial, Benoît Coussy, lawyer for Keane’s brother Rowan, said: "The fact that the Keane brothers’ dad was English appears to have made this homicide less serious in their eyes."

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Speaking in court, he said: "Morgan’s life ended in the forest where he went to cut wood. But the story didn’t start there but several years before when Morgan’s father politely asked hunters to go elsewhere to shoot.

"He was a foreigner and… not a hunter and the hunting world is quite ferocious. If you are not a hunter, it means you are against hunting."

The charge heard that Keane had been chopping wood on private land at around 4.30pm when Féral shot him 'believing he was a boar'.

Two year's prior to Keane's death, his father had argued with local hunters and claimed they were coming too close to his private land.

Speaking in court, Féral said: "There isn't a day I don't think about it, it's marked me for life. I'm sorry."

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