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"Cannibal" Inmate Sentenced

Posted Jun 25 2010 4:46pm

A 38-year old inmate, who has been dubbed "The Cannibal of Rouen", has been sentenced to thirty years in prison for the 2007 murder of a fellow inmate followed by his eating several of the victim's body parts.   The murder occurred on January 2, 2007 after the deceased, Thierry Baudry, gave him a "dirty look" over a shared toilet which caused Cocaign to fly into an "uncontrollable rage".  Cocaign, a married father of two, was on remand facing armed robbery charges while Baudry was awaiting sentencing for charges of extortion and sexual aggression.  After punching Baudry repeatedly, Cocaign then took a pair of scissors and stabbed him in the back, neck and chest.  He held a plastic bag over Baudry's face for five minutes "to make sure he was dead".  Cocaign then butchered the corpse and carved out Baudry's lung (he thought it was the heart).  Medical examiner, Patrick Laburthe-Tolra testified that, based on the blood found in Baudry's right lung, the victim was likely still alive when the body part was cut out. 

After removing Baudry's lung, Cocaigne then fried the lung with onions, olive oil, salt and pepper in his cell before eating it (the prison allowed inmates the use of portable camping stoves in their cells).  The murder was not discovered by prison officials until the following day.  In discussing his reason for committing the murder,  Cocaign blamed it on his history of psychological problems and stated that he had repeatedly asked prison officials for psychological treatment while incarcerated.  He has a history of psychiatric hospitalizations although a precise diagnosis was never made in his case.  After a forensic assessment determined that he was fit to stand trial, his defense attorney, Fabien Picchiotino argued that the murder represented a "failure of the psychiatric, penitentiary and social system".  During the trial, Cocaign testified that, "What I did, I liked doing" and that he was "curious to see what he tastes like".  A third cellmate, David Lagrue, had attempted to separate Cocaigne and Baudry before the murder. He was reportedly traumatized by witnessing the murder and cannibalism and committed suicide in another prison in November 2009. 

Members of Baudry's family were in the courtroom when the sentence was handed down.  Prosecutor Elisabeth Pelsez stated that she did not seek a life sentence due to Cocaign's psychiatric history.  He may be eligible for early release after serving twenty years.

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