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Thursday, December 5, 2013

French soldier accused of cannibalism was suffering PTSD from Afghanistan

Frenchman Jérémy Rimbaud, who has admitted cooking and eating the heart and tongue of a pensioner, was suffering from combat stress after serving in Afghanistan.          

A former French soldier who served in Afghanistan and admitted to eating a man's tongue and heart had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, it has emerged. Jérémy Rimbaud, 26,
who had served alongside British forces fighting the Taliban, has admitted breaking into the 90-year-old's home in Nouilhan, southwestern France, on November 15, and beating him over the head with an iron rod before extracting part of his organs with a penknife.

 Forensic experts later confirmed that cooked meat found on a plate with beans was indeed human, and presumably belonged to Lépold Pédébidau, the dead pensioner. The cannibal attack bears similarities to the character of Hannibal Lecter from the film Silence Of The Lambs, who ate human organs with “fava beans and Chianti”. After he set fire to his victim’s house, the flames alerted the dead man’s son, who lives nearby, who discovered his father’s body, investigators said. The case has shocked the tiny hamlet in southern France, which is home to just 200 people.

 Soldier: Rimbaud was said by a regimental source to have 'posed no problems during his stint' in Afghanistan from December 2010 to June 2011 (file picture) 

The former soldier is accused of attacking another villager in France by hitting him against a tractor. Mr Rimbaud, who has been transferred to a high-security unit for dangerous psychopaths, told investigators he had heard voices and “obeyed a message of higher origin” telling him carry out the gruesome act. The killing took place only ten days after he left the army, in which he had served with at the Marine Infantry Tank Regiment, a light cavalry regiment of the French army and one of its most decorated. A source at the regiment had said Mr Rimbaud had "posed no problems during his stint" in Afghanistan between December 2010 and June 2011 and where he obtained the grade of corporal.


But local radio France Bleu Béarn yesterday cited the prosecutor of Pau as confirming that military doctors had diagnosed him as suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. According to Sud Ouest newspaper, the former armoured car driver had seen colleagues die and suffer seriously burns and wounds after driving over a roadside bomb. When he returned, the man refused an army offer to extend his contract, saying he wanted a painting job. “The only thing I can tell you is that he never showed any worrying signs,” a superior officer told Sud Ouest. But after leaving the army on November 5, his girlfriend told the newspaper that he suddenly started having fits of deliria.

Scared of what he might do, she filmed one of these and has handed the footage to investigators. He then disappeared, roaming the nearby countryside and was taken for a homeless man. Last week, a preliminary investigation was opened on charges of “murder, violating the integrity of a corpse and attempted murder”.



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