Pictured: Farmer, 84, ‘who shot dead millionaire British expat in row about cows blighting the view on his 300-acre French estate’
- David Daniels moved to France permanently with wife Gay, 77, three years ago
- Expat, 72, collapsed with gunshot wounds after an ‘argument with a neighbour’
- His elderly tenant, Jean Moreau, 84, now pictured charged over the shooting
- There are claims Mr Daniels did not like the view over the Moreau family’s farm
A picture of the 84-year-old tenant farmer remanded in custody accused of shooting dead a British landowner in France after a row about cows has been released.
Jean Moreau is alleged to have shot David Daniels, 72, outside his farmhouse in the village of Edon, in the of south-western Charente region.
Mr Moreau has been placed under investigation after a hearing on Thursday. He will undergo a psychiatric assessment before a trial expected to take place this year.
David Daniels, 72, was allegedly shot dead by elderly French farmer Jean Moreau (pictured) after a feud over the appearance of his farm on the estate outside the village of Edon, in Charente, Western France
His son Pascal, 48, has been released. They were held after Mr Daniels died when he was shot in the chest as he took out the rubbish on Tuesday.
Mr Daniels, who lived in the farmhouse with his wife Gay, 77, had been involved in a long-running despute with the Moreaus, who are tenant farmers on his land.
Mr Moreau, who fought in the Algerian War of independence in the 1950s and 60s, was a described as a ‘hard and rural’ man who could be ‘capable of fits of anger’ but rarely left his property in recent years. His other son Roland, 56, said he was a ‘desperate’ man who feared losing his livelihood.
David Daniels (pictured) wanted his 300-acre estate in France to look like a ‘postcard’ – but was allegedly killed after a feud with a neighbour
The millionaire British expat who was shot dead outside his 300-acre French estate having dedicated his life to turning it into a dream home.
David Daniels, 72, was allegedly shot dead by elderly French farmer Jean Moreau after a feud over the appearance of his farm on the estate outside the village of Edon, in Charente, Western France.
Mr Daniels, a businessman who made his fortune selling kitchenware to top restaurants around the world, bought the property in 1997 but moved there full time in 2015.
He joined the village heritage association, attended a meeting about increasing tourist visits and was said to be enthusiastic about creating a ‘postcard’ view from his window.
Mr Daniels, 72, died of his injuries in his car as his wife Gay, 77, drove him to the nearest doctor after he was shot at his home near the small village of Édon in south west France. Pictured: Mr Daniels’ home
But the farm where Mr Moreau had lived for 51 years would not be appearing on any postcards.
It was littered with old tractor tyres, cattle feed and the detritus of agriculture, according to neighbours.
Mr Daniels had argued with Mr Moreau and this allegedly came to a head when the farmer shot him dead outside his estate this week.
David Daniels, 72, was allegedly shot dead by elderly French farmer Jean Moreau after a feud over the appearance of his farm on the estate outside the village of Edon, Western France
Mr Daniels died of his injuries in his car as his wife drove him to the nearest doctor.
The former executive’s tenant, named locally as Pascal Moreau, 48, and his father Jean, 84, had both been helping police with their inquiries after a murder investigation was opened earlier this week.
After hearings with magistrates yesterday Jean Moreau was charged with ‘murder committed with premeditation or ambush’ and was remanded in custody. His son was released last night and has not been charged over the shooting.
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French newspaper Charente Libre printed a photo yesterday purporting to show Mr Daniels.
This morning, it emerged that Mr Daniels had been involved in a land row with his neighbours and had become increasingly frustrated with them since moving there permanently three years ago.
The Moreau family are believed to have been tenants on the farm for 51 years and used the land for cattle farming and growing crops, reports Adam Sage for The Times.
But Mr Daniels, who originally bought the property as a second home in 1997, is said to have been dissatisfied by the view from his house.
David Daniels’ house in Edon, where he was shot – allegedly by a tenant over a land row
According to The Times, the brother and son of the tenants, Roland Moreau, said Mr Daniels had wanted a ‘picture postcard’ scene – but was instead confronted with ‘an ordinary farm and he didn’t like that’.
He added that Mr Daniels wanted the area ‘tidied up’ and did not want cattle on the farm. Mr Moreau also claimed that the former executive wanted Pascal and Jean ‘out’.
A feud then broke out between the two parties, but Mr Moreau suggested there ‘could have been other conflicts with other people too’ – apparently casting doubts that the row involving his relatives had led to Mr Daniels’ death.
Locals in Edon, in the Charente region of West France, had earlier said the men had been involved in a long-running dispute over the upkeep of land
Mr Daniels, an American who took British citizenship, and his wife, were registered to a home in central London from 1999 to 2013, The Times reports, adding that the house was sold for £3.4million in 2014.
Locals in Edon had earlier revealed the men had been involved in a long-running dispute over the upkeep of land. The Daniels own a large area of farmland, with a forest, cows and crops.
Mr Daniels, who locals said had made his money selling industrial kitchen equipment to restaurants, had been taking out the rubbish when he was shot.
The gunman was hiding in a tree opposite the farmhouse gates, waiting for Mr Daniels to bring out the bin bag. There is CCTV outside the house, meaning the attack may have been caught on camera.
Pascal – described by locals as a keen hunter – lives with his father in a farmhouse next to the Daniels’ home.
Local mayor Patrice Petit said Mr Daniels, a classic car enthusiast, was well-known and well-liked for his ‘kindness, open mindedness and love of heritage’.
His death was a ‘big loss to the village’, Mr Petit added.
‘He was a man I knew very well, a man much appreciated in the commune where he had lived for a long time.’
Villagers in Edon, which is home to just 270 people and in an area of France popular with British expats, have spoken of their shock after the murder.
Marie Lacellerie, owner of Au Petit Creux, a restaurant in Edon told The Local: ‘It’s a tragedy. He’d been here a long time and was known by everyone. He was a straightforward, good guy.’
Hidden: The spot where the gunman lay in wait for British farmer David Daniels in Edon
Mr Daniels had competed in the Circuit des Remparts vintage race in nearby Angouleme, and was driving in Pau in the Pyrenees at the weekend before he was shot on Tuesday afternoon.
Police said the dispute related to the lease of the land with both having a ‘different vision of what was to become of the farm’.
According to The Local, a hunting rifle was confiscated by police at Pascal and Jean Moreau’s property.
More than 20 gendarmes are involved in the investigation. Jean-David Cavaille, state prosecutor, said the investigation had been opened as an ‘assassination, a murder with premeditation’ pending further inquiries, including the results of a post-mortem examination.
Mr Daniels was pronounced dead in Dignac, where his wife had driven him, reports said.
A UK Government spokesman said: ‘Our staff are assisting the family of a British man following his death in France, and are in contact with the gendarmerie.’
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