Dordogne Farmer Guilty of Killing Two Work Inspectors

A French farmer living in the Dordogne has been sentenced to 30 years imprisonment for the murder of two government work inspectors. The inspectors were visiting the farm in the summer of 2004 to check on employments contracts for seasonal workers. The farm is located in small village of Saussignac near Bergerac and, on the day in question, there were a number of seasonal workers on the farm harvesting prunes. Some of the workers had been recruited directly by the farmer, Claude Duviau, whilst others from an external company. During the afternoon the two works inspectors turned up in the fields to interview the workers. Having completed their checks they met the farmer to advise him that they had found irregularities and that he would face legal proceedings. It then seems the farmer abruptly left the two inspectors to go to another premises on the farm, to where he was followed by the inspectors. As the inspectors entered the building, the farmer fired mortal shots from his hunting rifle into both of them, before turning the gun upon himself. One of the inspectors was shot in the back trying to flee from the premises. Whilst the farmer was seriously injured in the face and neck, he survived the attempted suicide. The court heard how the farmer was in serious financial difficulties and had already spoken of wanting to commit suicide. In 2003 Monsieur Duviau had previously faced legal proceedings over the employment of seasonal workers on an irregular basis.


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