The Antwerp appeal court made a new ruling in the case of Dimitri Bontinck, 41, on Wednesday. He had been sentenced to 8 months in prison for assaulting his ex-girlfriend. Mr Bontinck opposed the sentence, but was not present for the court session, as he is currently in Iraq. His lawyer is requesting community service. Dimitri Bontinck and his ex-partner met secretly on the 6th of November 2013, as the woman’s father did not approve of their relationship. They had rented a hotel room. During the course of the evening, the reception desk received several phone calls from their room, but the call was cut off each time. When the occupant of a near-by room complained about the noise of their arguing, a hotel employee went and knocked on their door.
The employee had to threaten to call the police to get Dimitri Bontinck to open the door. His ex-girlfriend left the room, with her face covered in bruises, to the screams of her attacker. He followed her to the lobby, and insulted her. The woman confirmed she had been beaten. She said he didn’t want to let her leave, and had stopped her calling reception.
“We cannot claim these things didn’t happen, but I think giving him a prison sentence is excessive. He lost his job because of this incident, has not yet found other work. He is also struggling to repay debts. I ask for community service”, said his lawyer, Xavier Potin.
The Appeal Court’s decision is expected on the 13th of May. Dimitri Bontinck has been known in Flanders since his son Jejoen went to Syria to fight for the Islamic State.
Jason Bennett (Source: Belga)