When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
Darwen killer released from French prison
2:00pm Saturday 2nd November 2013 in News
THE daughter of a woman whose killer has been released from a French prison has said he should have died in jail.
Robert Lund was jailed for 12 years in 2007 after being convicted of the manslaughter of his wife, Evelyn, in December 1999.
His trial, after Evelyn’s badly-decomposed body was found in a lake in 2001, and subsequent appeals, gripped East Lancashire.
Two Lancashire Telegraph journalists, Neil Johnson and Clare Cook, were called as witnesses during Lund’s trials.
Evelyn, from Rawtenstall, went missing from the couple’s farmhouse in the remote village of Rayssac, south west France, on 29 December, 1999.
The 52-year-old’s remains were discovered 22 months later in her car in the isolated Lake Bancalie, 15 miles from their home.
In an interview this week with a French newspaper, Lund, from Darwen, maintained his innocence.
But Evelyn’s daughter, Patricia Kay, said he should have been locked up for the rest of his life.
Mrs Kay, of Franklin Road, Blackburn, said: “He’s had three trials and been found guilty at each time. And no matter how much he protests his innocence he can’t change all the forensic evidence there was.
“There’s not a right lot of good we can do about him being released, but in my eyes he should have been in prison until the day he died. He’s taken my mum’s life and shouldn’t be out there enjoying himself.
“We’ve had 13 years of it and we’ve had enough now. We just want to put it behind us.”
Lund, a former tree surgeon, was originally convicted of killing his wife by a court in Albi, in the Tarn region of France, in 2007 and was jailed for 12 years.
But after his release Lund, 61, told the Toulouse daily, La Dépêche: “I am innocent. It’s not over. I’m expecting the case to be re-opened.
“I’m waiting to see what the lawyers say. The penal code gives me at least one option, considering I have been prosecuted without proof.
“The jury made their decision on a presumption, on speculation and suppositions. In my head, there’s no doubt about that.
“It was not me. My conscience is clear. I was an easy target for the investigators. I have always co-operated 100 per cent and that landed me a long time in prison.”
Lund was found guilty for a second time by a new jury in Toulouse in October 2009.
In December 2011, Mr Johnson, the Lancashire Telegraph’s picture editor, and Ms Cook, a former reporter at the paper, were called to give evidence during a third trial.
They had visited Lund in France in December 2003 for an interview, during which he showed them the exact location his wife’s body had been found, despite having told French police he had never been there.
Lund, who hopes to return to the UK later this month, said he was eligible for parole since 2009 but had been refused on several occasions.
He said: “I have a meeting in England on November 22 regarding the house that my wife’s family still lays claim to. They are still very hostile towards me. My future is perhaps in Albi, but my friends are in England.”