This Friday the Assize court in Flemish Brabant sentenced 30-year-old Jérôme Billens to 20 years in prison for torturing 53-year-old Alain Platteau in Crainhem in February 2013. The suspect’s mother, Linda Tielemans, 53, and Guy De Coster, 55, were each given an 18-month suspended sentence for manslaughter.
The court’s ruling insists the accused was responsible for following his aggressive instincts. “He knew his alcoholism led to uncontrollable aggressiveness. In spite of this he consumed large quantities of alcohol and cocaine throughout the weekend of February 9th-10th 2013.”
The court reckons that Tielemans and De Coster also consumed far too much alcohol and cocaine. “Instead of trying to keep Billens from drinking so much, they joined him. They chose to drink themselves than to help out their friend.”
Billens, whose civic rights have been revoked for life, may get a chance at starting over, depending on the Sentence Enforcement Court’s decision and the results of a legal expertise update.
As for Tielemans and De Coster, community service did not seem an adequate punishment given the severity of the crime. An Assize court cannot defer a sentence. It therefore opted for a suspended sentence the main condition of which is that they must both become teetotal.
Christopher Vincent (Source: Belga)