A former Special Armed Services soldier is in custody after admitting to the murder of his partner at their home in France.

Maurice Martin, 27, was arrested after police found the passport of John Bradshaw, 55, in a car he sold.

Bradshaw, a former policeman, had been missing for several weeks. He and Martin had met earlier this year and settled down in France.

Martin confessed to strangling his partner after two days in custody. He then led detectives to Bradshaw’s body, which he had hidden in undergrowth by the Cieux lake in southern France.

Public prosecutor Michel Garrandau said: “Martin has been charged with premeditated murder after confessing. He is being held in custody in Limoges.

“The strangulation happened after an argument. The cause of the argument is being investigated.”

Bradshaw was reported missing by his adult daughter, who shared a flat with him and Martin.