A French hunter who accidentally shot a British man has been imprisoned for a year.
Marc Sutton, 34, originally from Wales, was fatally shot with a rifle in 2018 while cycling a popular route high in the French Alps.
Lucas Clerc, a 24-year-old hunter, was convicted Tuesday after admitting he fired the fatal shot destined for a wild boar.
Clerc was sentenced to a total of four years, three of them suspended,It was forbidden to own a gun for five years and hunting was forbidden for ten years.
Lucas Clerc (22) (left) shot Mark Sutton (34) (right) because he believes he is an animal and, according to his father Dominique, is still in the hospital, which is being treated for a severe shock.
A 24-year-old French hunter has been jailed for a year for shooting 34-year-old Marc Sutton, who was killed while cycling in the French Alps in 2018
According to the French broadcaster France3, he burst into tears when the verdict was pronounced.
Two other hunters, the father of one of them who had been hunting and this man’s wife, were also given suspended sentences of between six and 18 months for hiding evidence.
A court heard that they changed the hunting protocols to look like they weren’t in the area at the time and later put up signs warning of a hunt so that they look like they had safety precautions met.
Mr Sutton had lived with partner Jo Watts in the Haute-Savoie region of France for four years before he was killed on October 13, 2018.
The couple were known locally as the owners of two restaurants, one vegetarian, and were very popular with customers.
Around 6:50 p.m. on the day in question, Marc was riding a steep but popular bike path near his home when he was hit and killed by a bullet.
An investigation showed that Marc was wearing highly visible clothing and that visibility was good at the time of his shooting.
Instead, investigators pointed to a litany of safety flaws by the hunting party, including the fact that they had not posted signs warning of a hunt in the area.
The largely inexperienced party had also failed to appoint a person to be in charge of the hunt, hadn’t established a free area for their hunt, hadn’t filled in the proper papers, and hunted within 500 feet of homes, prosecutors said .
The hunter had said the bullet that killed Mr Sutton (left with partner Jo Watts) was intended for a wild boar, but prosecutors pointed to a litany of security flaws
Mr Clerc’s father, Dominique, said his son (pictured) shot Mr Sutton because he believed he was a deer
The hunter (pictured left and right with an unknown friend) owns a forest company and regularly posts photos of himself hunting in the French Alps
Investigators added that the hunter targeting a boar did not aim the shot at the ground as required, but instead shot directly.
That meant if he missed the shot, the bullet could go far enough to hit and kill Marc, who had unknowingly slid into the line of fire.
Frédéric Noetinger-Berlioz, a lawyer for the victim’s family, described the hunters as “pathetic and pathetic” and called the sentence “balanced … under the circumstances”.
He added that the hunt was not the cause of Mr. Sutton’s death, but “criminal hunters who did not observe safety rules”.
At the time of his death, Miss Watts paid tribute to a “kind, happy, loving man” who said they had spent nine happy years together.
It was also described by those who lived in the French Alpine community, whom they described as “popular” and “popular”.