The niece of Quentin Davies, the British defense minister, spoke Monday of her horror as she realized that she had stabbed and killed a man after a failed attempt to make love following a drinking session near Paris.
Jessica Davies, 30, told the French court that she could not explain why she had attacked Olivier Mugnier with a kitchen knife hours after meeting him in a pub.
Mugnier, 24, was found naked by police after Davies, whose blood alcohol level was more than four times the French legal limit for driving, called the emergency services in November 2007. Versailles Criminal Court was told that Davies had screamed at the first police officer to arrive on the scene: "It’s me who did that, I’m a monster. I wanted to cut him a bit and it went right in." But giving evidence, the defendant said that she could not remember how she came to inflict two fatal wounds to Mugnier, as he sat on the bed in her apartment in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, a Paris suburb.
"All that comes back to me is images, flashes and bits and pieces," said the former model, who appeared in court with her hair in a ponytail.
Pausing to think about her answers and speaking in a clear voice, Davies said that she could recall inviting Mugnier to her home, getting the knife to open a bottle of wine and then trying to have sexual intercourse. They abandoned the attempt when he failed to have an erection.
"The next thing I can remember is telephoning the emergency services, holding the phone with one hand and trying to stem the flow of blood with the other," she said.
Davies, who was born into a Franco-British family, admitted that she had killed the man. "I have to accept the obvious," she said. "I have never tried to deny it. I am sincere in my answers and in my lack of answers.
"It's strange to feel so guilty and yet not to know what happened. The remorse is there, the distress is there, but you cannot make sense of it. It’s terrible because I’m not the only one needing answers," she added, looking at Mugnier’s parents and brother, who were sitting opposite her in the courtroom.
She denied that Mugnier died during a violent dispute, saying: "As far as I can remember we were in an extremely relaxed and good mood."
But under questioning from the three judges who sit with jurors in French courts, she said that Mugnier might have refused to leave her apartment when she asked. "It’s a possibility but I have no way of knowing if that is the truth," she said.
Davies, who faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in jail if found guilty, went on to admit that she had a vague recollection of stabbing Mugnier.
"I remember a strange feeling that I interpreted as a blade going in, as something profoundly shocking." But she insisted that she was not prone to violence. "I had never attacked anyone in my whole life. I am someone who flees, I flee conflicts, I flee my responsibilities."
The court was told that Davies had used the knife she used to kill Mugnier in a suicide attempt three months earlier. She had been on anti-depressants since splitting up with her previous boyfriend.