The substantial British expatriate community in France woke up to shocking and dreadful news on Monday as it was revealed that one of their own was due to be charged with murder.
Julian Stevenson, 47 is alleged to have murdered his five year old daughter and ten year old son in Saint-Priest, a small town close to Lyon.
The unemployed expat is understood to have lived in France for more than a decade and had recently separated from his French wife.
It is alleged that after being left with the children for the first time since the couple’s split stevenson failed to return the children to their mother prompting his former wife to discover the appalling scene when she investigated matters at his flat over the weekend.
A source with the local police force said, "We believe the man was looking after the children for the first time since he divorced his wife,
"He was arrested at the end of yesterday afternoon."
A British Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman said,"We are in touch with the French authorities and await the outcome of their investigation.
"We stand ready to provide consular assistance."
The suspect is due before a Judge in court in Lyon on Monday for a preliminary hearing whereby a prosecutor will officially open the investigation into the murders.