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Flowers outside the home where the bodies of the victims were discovered on Christmas Day. Alamy Stock Photo

Man (33) in France charged for killing his wife and four children on Christmas Day

The suspect was charged with aggravated voluntary manslaughter.

A FRENCH FATHER, suspected of killing his wife and four children in Meaux, France on Christmas Day, has been formally charged by French prosecutors today.

The 33-year-old man was arrested on Tuesday after the discovery for the five bodies on Monday in their home in the town, east of Paris.

The man, believed to be the spouse and the father of the victims, has been receiving treatment since 2017 for depression and psychotic behaviour.

It’s understood he has told police in France that he “heard voices” telling him to “cause harm” to his family on Christmas Day.

Meaux public prosecutor Jean-Baptiste Bladier, citing the results of Wednesday’s autopsy, said the children’s 35-year-old mother and her 10- and seven-year-old daughters had received “around 10 stab wounds each” which had been “administered with great violence”.

The four-year-old and nine-month-old boys “died of asphyxia following drowning”, he added.

After appearing before an investigating judge today, the suspect was formally charged with “aggravated voluntary manslaughter”, Bladier said.

In addition, he was charged with attempted murder after telling investigators that he had planned to also kill his father.

The suspect said that he had “not been able to identify a trigger for his act”, said the prosecutor. He has “felt nothing” and “felt empty” after murdering his family, the prosecutor added.

The man was arrested near his father’s home in the neighbouring town of Sevran.

“He loved his children, he loved his wife,” the suspect’s father told broadcaster RMC.

“Maybe what he did there was unconscious, that he didn’t know what he was doing”, he said.

“I don’t understand it yet.”

© AFP 2023, includes reporting by Muiris O’Cearbhaill