Justice catches up with killer

PrisonMonegasque Marc Mandel, 44, has been convicted of the murder of 39-year-old Pierre Torregrossa, the father of a seven-year-old boy, after an investigation lasting more than five years. The killing took place on October 7, 2011, in Roquebrune, as Mr Torregossa came to collect his child for a weekend visit.

The court in Nice heard that Marc Mandel shot and killed Mr Torregossa with a hunting rifle loaded with buckshot. Sophie, the mother of the child, was living with Mr Mandel at the time of the murder.

An intriguing aspect of the case is that since the killing, Mandel has spent only four months in detention, a fact attributed during the trial to his friendship with a number of local police officials and possible connections with local freemasons, an allegation that was neither proven nor dismissed after eight days of debate. Video footage was not seen by investigating officers, the court heard. Advocate General Fabrice Karcenty said the police dossier had astonished him, and he had gone from one surprise to another.

The court was told that leading up the killing the couple had prevented the natural father from exercising his right of access.

The jury were convinced that Marc Mandel, described in court as an automotive expert who worked in a business established by his father, deliberately killed Pierre Torregrossa, and despite a call from the prosecutor for him to spend 20 years in jail, he was sentenced to serve 12 years for the killing of a father who was described by friends and family as “jovial” and “loving”.