Mum vows to fight for the truth behind death of son in France

Andrew was found dead in a French country lane

A MOURNING mother has vowed to uncover the truth behind her son’s mysterious death.

Andrew Watt, 31, was found dead in a country lane in France in 2010 and his family have been battling French authorities for information on his death ever since.

Julie Sheppard, 51, and her family want to know how Andrew died and even sent a letter to French President Nicolas Sarkozy for his help.

But after brief correspondence with the President, Mr Sarkozy has now said that he cannot intervene with the investigation.

Undeterred Julie has said they will continue to fight through 2012 for answers from the French government.

According to official documents, Mr Watt died of heart failure related to mediation he was taking for mental health problems, but his mother Julie is insisting that her son’s case be reviewed.

She has vowed to press French officials until they tell her what happened to her son.

The mother of five said: “It’s very frustrating. Everything is just shutting down on us- the French authorities just want us to go away but we’re not going to.

“The British embassy feel the French won’t give any information and so they have shut down on us too.

“So far they have been giving the answers that they want to give.

“You are almost kept in the dark to the point where you realise they could actually get away with murder.”


 Mr Watt was found in a country lane in Pays de la Loire, 140 miles west of Paris in September 2010.

He had moved toFrancesix years earlier to be with his French girlfriend and to also be closer to his mother, who was then living in the town ofMayenne.

Andrew's mum Julie (left) thinks his medication may have been to blame

Mr Watt had suffered health problems since leaving college but was able to live a normal life working for children’s adventure holiday company PGL.

But when his mother left France following her father’s death in 2008, Mr Watt’s condition deteriorated and he was hospitalised.

Mrs Sheppard believes the medication French doctors prescribed to Andrew may have contributed to a decline in his health.

She said: “They’re holding back this information possibly because they know that they did something wrong with his medication.

“Andrew was put on an enormous amount of medication which has caused fatalities in France and the States. It hasn’t been approved in the UK and that’s why I think they know that something went wrong.”

Mrs Sheppard also revealed that her son had been missing from his French home for 20 hours before the alarm was raised.

She added: “Right from the beginning it’s been a case of gross incompetence on their behalf.

“Not only that, but the fact that we were not told that he went missing was hugely distressing.

“To tell a family that a loved on is missing is very important I feel. They just do what they want to do.

“Why weren’t we told he had been missing? We were told he had failed to return from a morning walk.

“All I know is that it was an unexplained death classified as “no offence” under the French system.


“But there have been other cases where they’ve tried to do this. Andrew’s case may have nothing suspicious to it, but our doubts have been raised because of the way we’ve been treated and we just want to clear it all up.

“We are sure he was not given enough care, he was not monitored enough and there was something wrong with the medication because he deteriorated so quickly.”

Andrew's body was returned to Scotland missing several organs

Following Andrew’s death Julie claims it took three months for his body to be returned and when it was, his family was horrified to find that his brain, heart, one lung, most of his liver, and some of his scalp and tongue were missing.

Three months later, they were located in a research hospital.

She said: “It’s just been one thing after another and now that the embassy have stopped pressing for information, we feel like we’re not getting anywhere.

“At a time where Europe is pulling for unity, this situation just doesn’t make sense. They are pushing us out which puts us into the position where we are suspicious of their motives.”

Mrs Sheppard is now consulting with a lawyer in France and is planning to raise a medical negligence case against the doctor and hospital responsible for her son’s medication at the time of his death.

She said: “The one line of inquiry that has not been shut down yet is the victim support group in Mayenne who told me it was very unusual for families to be kept out of the loop in judicial inquiries.

“Even our own embassy didn’t seem to know anything about it and I only found out because I had contacted Mr Sarkozy.

“Andrew deserves justice and we’ll fight on until our inquiries have been satisfied.”