The story of a British cyclist accidentally shot to death by a French hunter while trekking through the Alps captured international attention last week, but now the dead man’s sister says there is another side to the story.
Mark Sutton was shot to death in France when a young hunter mistook him for a deer. Afterward, Katie Toghill claims that Mark, her older brother, was actually a rapist who abused her for years when they were children. As The Sun reported, the 32-year-old claims that Sutton frequently beat and raped her in their childhood home.
As the Mirror reported, Sutton was biking in a wooded area near Montriond on October 13 when a hunter saw him in the fading light and mistook him for a fast-moving deer. The bullet struck Sutton, who died at the scene.
The 22-year-old hunter was reportedly devastated and local police were investigating him for manslaughter. The incident led locals to implore officials to close the area to hunters.
At the time of his death, friends remembered Mark Sutton as fun-loving and kind, but his sister revealed a very different side of him in a social media post in the days after his death. Toghill said after her brother’s death that “world is a better place” and that her life can finally move forward from his abuse.
“Time to pick myself up, dust myself off,” she wrote in a Facebook post, via the Sun. “I’ve made some of the biggest steps of my whole life the last few days and I will get through this. I’ve got everything I need in my life to get back to being me, a happier and stronger me.”
Toghill’s claims have exposed a rift in the family, the report noted. Their father took to Facebook to call her a liar, and a number of family members “liked” the post in apparent agreement. Sutton’s girlfriend also defended him against the claims he was a rapist.
“Of course I’m shattered by his death, his life was taken so violently by a hunter while he innocently rode his bike on a popular track,” she wrote. “Now to add to all that I’m devastated people have chosen now to make these allegations – nothing to with how he died – when Mark is not here to defend himself.”
Toghill’s mother fell on the other side, praising her daughter and claiming that Sutton had “broken her.”
Mark Sutton had been in trouble with the law, spending six months behind bars for punching an ex-girlfriend. He reportedly fled to Spain after being confronted on his abusive past by family members, then moved to France.