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Slain Brit’s Mom Sues School Board

April 9, 1998

LONDON (AP) _ A woman whose 13-year-old daughter was murdered on a school trip to France in 1996 sued the local education authority Thursday, accusing them of negligence.

Caroline Dickinson was raped and then strangled in a youth hostel in Pleine Fougeres, Brittany, while on a five-day trip with 39 other youngsters and five adults from the school where she was a pupil.

Caroline died in her bed in a first-floor dormitory she was sharing with four other girls. Her killer has not been caught.

Her mother, Sue Dickinson, began a civil claim for damages against Cornwall County Council, alleging breach of duty and negligence.

The council said its insurers say the council had no liability for Caroline’s death. The council also insists it cooperated fully with both French and English police investigations.

Mrs. Dickinson’s lawyer, Ian Langsford, told a news conference his client was not motivated by personal gain and would put any compensation in a trust fund for her other daughter, Jenny.

Nearly 700 voluntary DNA tests carried out to find Caroline’s killer on Pleine Fougeres villagers, hostel staff, and boys and teachers from the school have all proved negative.

However, French police are still receiving calls following the release in February of a composite picture of a suspect seen in the two days before the murder. The composite was compiled with the help of Caroline’s friends.

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