PARIS - A French convict who confessed to killing a fellow inmate and said he ripped out the dead man’s heart and ate it is a schizophrenic whose request for isolation was ignored, a lawyer said on Saturday.
Fabien Picchiottino — who said he represents Nicolas Cocaigne, dubbed the “Cannibal of Rouen” by French media — told Reuters his client had been diagnosed as schizophrenic and had asked prison authorities to separate him from other inmates.
“Experts had qualified him as schizophrenic and potentially dangerous,” Picchiottino said. “He had problems with other prisoners. He did not feel well psychologically, and he felt ... that he could be dangerous.”
Picchiottino said Cocaigne was a convicted rapist whose isolation requests to authorities at the prison in the northern French town of Rouen fell on deaf ears.
“The prison director certainly thought it wasn’t necessary and didn’t do it. But unfortunately for him the facts have proved him wrong,” the lawyer said.
Prison authorities were not available for comment.