Patrick Henry (French murderer)

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Patrick Henry
Born31 March 1953
Died3 December 2017 (aged 64)
Lille, France
Cause of deathLung cancer
OccupationTravelling salesman
Printer and publisher
Criminal chargeChild abduction and child murder (1977)
Drug trafficking (in possession of 10kg of cannabis) (2003)
PenaltyLife imprisonment (January 20, 1977)
Returned to his life prisoner condition, 4 year-term, €20,000 fine and the confiscation of money he had with him (around €8,000) (July 22, 2003)

Patrick Henry (31 March 1953 – 3 December 2017) was a French criminal, cause célèbre and the subject of public and judicial controversy. He was convicted of the kidnapping and murder of 8-year-old Philippe Bertrand in January 1976.[1]

The trial began on 18 January 1977 and he was defended by Robert Bocquillon and Robert Badinter. A contentious issue in the trial was the validity of capital punishment in France; Badinter, a fervent supporter of its abolition, would ultimately convince the jury not to execute his client.[2] This case is said to have had an influence in leading to the abolition of the death penalty in France in 1981. Henry was instead sentenced to life imprisonment and was paroled in 2001; however, he returned to jail two years later after having been caught trying to smuggle drugs into France.


Henry died of lung cancer in Lille, aged 64, on 3 December 2017.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sorj Chalandon (29 May 2009). "Le cas Patrick Henry" (in French). Libération. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
  2. ^ Max Berley "France Debates Parole, After 24 Years of Prison, for Killer of a Child", New York Times; accessed 3 December 2017.
  3. ^ L'ex-détenu Patrick Henry est mort; accessed 3 December 2017. (in French)