Jersey

Funeral of falsely accused Jersey man Alphonse Le Gastelois

Alphonse Le Gastelois
Image caption Alphonse Le Gastelois died aged 97

The funeral of Alphonse Le Gastelois, the man wrongly accused of the Beast of Jersey sex crimes in the 1960s, is being held later.

Mr Le Gastelois lived on the Ecrehous, a tiny offshore reef between Jersey and France, for 14 years after being the target of a hate campaign.

He died last week at the age of 97. His family said he would be sadly missed.

The funeral service is at 12:00 BST at the Crematorium Chapel on Westmount Road, St Helier.

Jersey Police arrested Mr Le Gastelois in 1960 while hunting for a serial sex offender nicknamed the Beast of Jersey.

The offender went on to carry out 13 attacks on women and children over 11 years.

However, after 14 hours of questioning they found nothing to connect Mr Le Gastelois to the attacks.

'Innocent man'

But his name was released to the press and he became the subject of a hate campaign in Jersey.

He was forced to flee to the Ecrehous and only returned when the real offender, Edward Paisnel, was caught and sentenced.

John Riseborough, the police officer who caught Edward Paisnel said he was sorry for the way Jersey had treated an innocent man.

Mr Riseborough caught the Beast of Jersey after he was caught jumping a red light in 1971.

He said Jersey owed a debt to Mr Le Gastelois.

He said: "We are a small island and it is 'chit chat chit chat' and people are quite persuasive... and I feel quite sorry for him, nothing I could do personally, but the island could have been a lot more generous to him than what they were."

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