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Celine killer's appeal bid is turned down.

A lorry driver jailed for the murder of French student Celine Figard whose body was dumped in the Midlands has been told he cannot appeal against his conviction.

Three Court of Appeal judges, sitting in London, turned down the application from Stuart Morgan (38) when they heard the circumstantial evidence linking him to the rape and murder of the 19-year-old woman was "overwhelming."

They told Morgan, from Poole, Dorset, he had shown no grounds to justify a full hearing at the Appeal courts.

The judges rejected an argument by Morgan that his conviction was unsafe because of the publicity surrounding the case.

Morgan was convicted at Worcester Crown Court in October, 1996, of murdering Ms Figard and dumping her naked body behind a hedge on a layby beside the A449 near Ombersley, Worcs.

Her body was discovered on December 29, 1995, just ten days after she had disappeared. The student from Ferrieres-Les Scey, in rural eastern France, had left her home on December 18, 1995, to go to the Ashburn Hotel, Fordbridge, Hants, where she was to work as a waitress.

She was meant to take a train in England but had met up with a French lorry driver who was heading for Wales and he agreed to drop her closer to the hotel.

When she arrived at Chievely services on the M4 near Newbury, she looked for another lift and was picked up by a bearded man driving a white Mercedes lorry. It as the last time the teenager was seen alive.

Morgan had shaved off his beard over the Christmas holiday which alerted a colleague when the murder inquiry began.

After a search at Morgan's house, detectives found Celine's rucksack, some snapshots, a CD and a toiletries bag behind his garage wall.

Days after Morgan was jailed, his wife Glynda revealed she knew her husband was involved in the killing.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Feb 6, 1998
Words:312
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