British businessman is charged with murdering his Romanian wife during post-lockdown reunion at French holiday home after they’d spent weeks apart
- Craig Sneddon of Kirkcaldy, Scotland was arrested in the early hours of June 13
- Madelina, his wife, was found dead in their holiday rental in Aix-en-Provence
- Sneddon said that he woke up to find the body after a heavy night of drinking
- The engineer said he had nothing to do with his Romanian wife’s death but investigators found the injuries were inconsistent with a fall
A British engineer is facing up to 30 years in a French prison after being charged with murdering his Romanian wife during a post-coronavirus lockdown reunion.
Craig Sneddon, who is in his 40s and from Kirkcaldy, Scotland, was arrested in the early hours of June 13 – a Saturday – outside their holiday rental in the southern city of Aix-en-Provence.
The body of his wife, Madalina Sneddon, who was also in her 40s and originally from Romania, was lying at the bottom of a stairwell of the upmarket building on Boulevard François and Emile Zola.
An investigating source said Sneddon had made an emergency call saying his wife had been involved in an accident after their reunion turned sour.
‘The couple had not seen each other for weeks because of travel restrictions caused by the Coronavirus pandemic,’ said the source.
Madalina Sneddon (left) is pictured with husband Craig Sneddon (right) in an undated photograph. Madalina’s dead body was found at the bottom of a stairwell in their upmarket holiday rental in the French southern city of Aix-en-Provence on June 13
Madalina Sneddon’s (pictured in an undated photograph) injuries were not consistent with a fall, according to the autopsy report
‘Their reunion was just before the weekend, after the wife was finally able to travel from Britain to France.
‘They had spent Friday night in their rented flat on the top floor of the building, apparently drinking heavily.
‘Neighbours heard a lot of commotion – shouting and screaming included. The building is normally very quiet.
‘The emergency services got a call from the panicked man using broken French to say his wife had hurt herself, and when they arrived at the scene they found her dead.
‘Paramedics were suspicious immediately, and detectives set up a crime scene, cordoning off the area.
Pictured: The holiday rental on Boulevard François and Emile Zola in Aix-en-Provence where Madalina was found dead on June 13
‘The suspect said he had discovered the body when he got up, and could remember very little about the night before because of his drinking.’
Sneddon was interviewed through an interpreter, and denied having anything to do with his wife’s death.
An autopsy was performed on Ms Sneddon’s body on Monday June 15, and her ‘injuries were found to be inconsistent with a fall,’ said the investigating source.
Sneddon was held at the nearby Luynes remand centre after being placed ‘mis en examen’ – literally ‘placed under investigation’, and the French equivalent of being charged.
It means that an instructing judge supported by judicial police will gather evidence prior to Sneddon’s trial at a date to be fixed.
If he is found guilty of murder, he faces up to 30 years in prison in France.
Aix prosecutors confirmed that bail had been refused, and that Sneddon remained in custory.
The UK Foreign Office is believed to be assisting other members of the Sneddon family in connection with the incident.