The pensioner was killed in his home in the tiny village of Nouilhan (Google)

A man in France has been arrested in connection with the killing and eating of a pensioner.

The unnamed homeless man was said to have attacked the 90-year-old victim in his home in the small hamlet of Noilihan in southern France, The Local reported.

A police source said that the 26-year-old suspect broke into a house and smashed in the skull of the victim with a metal object.

In a scene reminiscent of The Silence of the Lambs, the suspect removed the tongue and heart of the deceased and cooked and ate them with beans, a source said.

The body was then burnt. The fire was seen by one of the sons of the victim who made his way to the house.

The suspect fled and assaulted a farmer before trying to enter another house where he was chased away by dogs and the owner.

Police caught the suspect after a search lasting several hours. They said he was in a "calm" state, local prosecutor Chantal Firmigier-Michel said.

The suspect was being held by police in the town of Tarbes. Prosecutors have recommended that he be sectioned after a psychiatric assessment showed he was suffering from delusions.

"It would seem he acted because of voices, messages that he was receiving and that were telling him to act in this way," said Firmingier-Michel. "Those are his first statements."