British Woman Murdered in France’s ‘Dream Home’ After Requesting Sellotape

Credits: LBC

The tragic murder of Susan Higginbotham, a British woman living her dream life in a picturesque French village, has shocked the community and drawn attention to the mental health challenges faced by her attacker, Hicham Bahloul.

Susan, 67, was found dead in her home in Esclottes, France, in September 2021. Her neighbor, Hicham Bahloul, 42, who struggled with severe psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia, confessed to strangling and beating her to death.

Bahloul, who had spent a significant portion of his life in psychiatric care, received a life sentence, with a minimum of 30 years in prison.

France’s Dream Home (Credits: The Independent)

According to reports, Bahloul attacked Susan after becoming irritated by her repeated requests to borrow Sellotape. His subsequent confession revealed a disturbing motive: he wanted to escape his family and preferred spending time in jail.

During the attack, Susan endured horrifying violence, including being strangled with a cord and subjected to repeated punches and kicks.

Bahloul’s lawyer emphasized his client’s preference for the safety and structure of prison life, highlighting his long-standing struggle with freedom and a history of attacking others, including patients and staff during previous hospitalizations.

Bahloul’s chilling statement to the court, expressing his readiness to repeat his actions if released, underscores the severity of his mental health issues and the danger he poses to society.

British Woman Murdered in France’s Dream Home (Credits: The Times)

Friends and family described Susan as a vibrant and joyful individual who had found happiness in her new life in France. Despite her idyllic surroundings, her untimely death serves as a reminder of the devastating impact of mental illness and the importance of supporting those in need.

As the community mourns Susan’s loss, her loved ones are left grappling with the senseless tragedy, with her brother in England unable to attend proceedings due to health issues.

The case underscores the complex interplay between mental health, crime, and justice, prompting reflection on how society can better address and prevent such heartbreaking incidents in the future.

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