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British man sought by UK police for sex offences found in south France

David F. was apprehended on suspicion of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl in a shop. Checks showed he was already being sought for sex offences under an Interpol warrant issued in Manchester 18 months previously

An image of the side of a police car bearing the word 'Police'

A man who was wanted by UK police has been found in France after a sexual assault incident in a shop in Var Pic: Jose Hernandez Camera 51 / Shutterstock

A British man who was being “actively sought” by UK authorities for sexual offences has been apprehended in a shop in Seyne-sur-Mer in the Var in southern France.

David F., 71, who is listed on the UK’s sexual offenders register and has been convicted for the sexual assault of a child under 12 in the US, was not known to French authorities until November 26. 

On that day, a 13-year-old girl had been the victim of inappropriate advances in a town-centre shop in Seyne-sur-Mer, when a man caressed her backside through her clothes with the back of his hand.

David F. is accused of being the perpetrator of this crime, and was arrested after being stopped by witnesses at the scene. He was also carrying a firearm at the time, but did not use it. 

On his arrest David F.’s blood alcohol level was 1g/l of blood. At a preliminary hearing at a court in Toulon, he said: “Every day I have a beer for lunch.” 

The court is expected to reach its judgement in January.

As they opened their investigation, the authorities found that David F. was named in an Interpol file, an international warrant for his arrest regarding similar incidents to that which occurred in Seyne-sur-Mer having been issued on March 6, 2020 by a Manchester judge. 

An extradition request has already been submitted to the French authorities. 

When asked what he was doing in France, David F. responded that he had been touring Europe by bike, but investigators were not convinced. 

David F. also appears on the sexual offenders register of the state of Florida, where he had been convicted to 15 years in prison in 2002 for “lewd and lascivious molestation of a victim under 12 years of age”. 

In 1999, he had approached an 11-year-old in a Palm City supermarket, and stroked her backside, saying “Hey baby, what’s new?” as he followed her round the aisles. 

He was expelled from the US on his release from prison. 

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