Charleroi criminal court has sentenced 2 youths to 4 and 6 years in prison for violently assaulting a homeless man and stealing his tablet. The assault resulted in the man suffering a permanent disability. The defendants pushed the man down two flights of steps and left him on the floor. That evening Jonathan D. and Alexandre D. had spent some time with a homeless couple in a squat on Charleroi’s Rue Centrale. The two youths noticed the couple owned a tablet and decided to steal it to sell so they could purchase alcohol.
According to the prosecutor, the two youths assaulted the man, punching and kicking him until he was unconscious. They allegedly then threw him down the flights of steps and attacked him again while he was on the floor before leaving him to die. The man wasn’t found until the following day and suffered permanent injuries. When questioned, Jonathan D. claimed he was too drunk that night to remember anything. Alexandre D. denied any intention of killing the man, claiming he acted out of self-defense when the homeless man attacked him with a knife.
On Wednesday, the court ruled there was no intent to kill and requalified the defendants’ actions as assault and battery resulting in permanent disability. The magistrate concluded that the statement given by the homeless man’s partner could not be relied upon since she was in another room when the incident occurred and did not actually witness it. It was therefore decided the man had not been thrown down the steps but that Jonathan D.’s assault caused the man to fall down the four flights.
Jonathan D. was given a 6-year sentence and Alexandre D. 4 years.
Lars Andersen (Source: Belga)