A former Tory councillor is to stand trial today in a French court, four and a half years after he crushed his wife to death with the family Mercedes outside their B&B.

David Turtle, 67, a former Conservative councillor, was charged with aggravated manslaughter in April 2017 after he admitted to driving his cherished two-tonne £37,000 Mercedes over his wife Stephanie in an ‘accident.’

In 2016, Mr Turtle quit his position as a Mercedes dealer to become a Conservative councillor in Bournemouth’s Kinson North. He then decided to leave the Conservative party and relocate to Prayssac (southwestern France) to open a bed & breakfast. 

The couple, who married in 2000, had planned to open their B&B to guests in the summer of 2017, but on March 30 of the same year, French police were called to the house in the early hours to discover Stephanie crushed by the Mercedes E-class.

Later, the police discovered that Stephanie had written a blog, which was left her position in Dorset’s human resource department to travel abroad. She complained about the Mercedes-Benz love affairs of her husband in several posts.

Now, four-and-a-half years after his wife’s death, Mr Turtle faces aggravated manslaughter charges and up to thirty years imprisonment. 

David Turtle, now 67, ran over Stephanie Turtle, 50, in the early hours of March 30, 2017 in the village of Prayssac, in the Lot department, 90 miles north of Toulouse. A post-mortem examination established that Mrs Turtle died of asphyxia after her rib cage was crushed by the weight of the vehicle.

David Turtle, now aged 67, ran over Stephanie Turtle 50 in Prayssac. This was in Lot district, 90 mi north of Toulouse. An autopsy revealed that the vehicle had crushed Mrs Turtle’s ribcage, causing her death from asphyxia.

Police have received Mr Turtle’s version of events. He says that the couple began their saga on March 29, 2017. 

According to Mr Turtle, the argument was settled when his wife went to sleep. However, Stephanie returned to the room after midnight and used the bathroom.

According to Mr Turtle, he had a desire to drive late at night to get calmed down but felt he must stop. 

Stephanie was trapped underneath one of Mercedes’s wheels, with 2 tonnes of metal press down on her ribs. He jumped out and found Stephanie. 

Prosecutors, on the other hand, will claim that Stephanie died from an accidental cause.  

Cybele Ordoqui (the investigating judge) stated that it was highly unlikely for a woman to put on a bra before going downstairs to go to the bathroom.  

Police found Stephanie wearing a jacket and two t-shirts, as well as a bra. 

Forensic experts also alleged that Mr Turtle would have had to ‘significantly engage the accelerator pedal’ in order to run down and crush his wife, and tyre marks in the gravel driveway of the B&B suggested the car set off very quickly.  

‘[Mr Turtle]”He cannot answer the question of why he did’t see and hear his wife.” His indictment claimed.

Police discovered Stephanie’s online blog about her travels abroad and new life in France, days after Stephanie died.

David Turtle, who was 62 at the time of his wife's death, has maintained it was an accident and said he didn't see her as he set off from the driveway outside the couple's bed and breakfast

David Turtle (62 years old at the time) maintained that it was an accident. He said he did not see his wife as he drove out of the driveway to their bed and breakfast.

Mrs Turtle, who was aged 50 at the time of her death, wrote on her blog: ‘I have come to question if I might have slipped from the number one spot of Mr T’s affections … [Our]The new Mercedes Benz E class estate, is Mr T’s joy and pride. 

The detectives found that Mrs Turtle had written that her husband spent as much time buying the Mercedes as she did on the purchase of the new house. 

Referring to the car as ‘she’, Mrs Turtle listed ‘a few examples of why I might be feeling a little put out’, including: ‘She has had more attention lavished on her than most anything else since we arrived in France, with weekly cleans and touches up in between…

“She’s mollycoddled.” One example is that she cannot be left within 20 feet of painting. When leaving home, a physical check for traffic in our quiet country lane is required – I have to actually get out of the car.

We approach the junctions with extreme caution. Both of us are straining to see if there is any oncoming traffic, and then we chant ‘all clear’. We must not eat or drink in her car to avoid leaving greasy marks or sticky spots on the leather interior. The list goes on… ‘

The home of Stephanie and David Turtle in the Prayssac region of France is pictured with the Mercedes E-class, which ultimately crushed Stephanie to death, on the gravel driveway outside

Pictured is the home of Stephanie and David Turtle, in the Prayssac Region of France. It’s pictured alongside the Mercedes E-class that ultimately crushed Stephanie on the gravel driveway.

The blog was posted in September 2016, two months after the couple moved to Prayssac, with the intention of turning La Maison Cedre – The Cedar House – into a bed and breakfast.

Bournemouth’s elderly neighbour said that she was devastated by news about Mrs Turtle’s passing in weeks.

She said that she knew David well and was able to get to know her before the trip to France. They were great together.

They seemed happy. David was a huge fan of Stephanie. He always referred to her as someone special.

‘He never said anything nasty or negative about her…I can’t possibly imagine he’d ever contemplate doing something like this on purpose.’

Robert Seymour, the brother-in law of Mrs Turtle said that he was not ready to speak while an investigation is ongoing.