The jury in the trial of Renaud Hardy at the Tongeren Criminal Court, in Limburg Province, sentenced him on Thursday afternoon to life imprisonment and decided that he should be placed at the disposal of the sentence-enforcement tribunal for a period of 15 years. On Wednesday, the jury had declared the 55-year-old serial killer guilty of all the crimes imputed to him. He was accused of the rape, torture and murder of Maria Walschaerts, aged 82, and 52-year-old Linda Doms. He was also accused of the attempted murders of actress Veerle Eyckermans and a female doctor.
Earlier on Thursday, the prosecution had requested a life sentence for the accused. His lawyer, Frédérick Thiebault, did not suggest a sentence, but tried to convince the jury to consider three attenuating circumstances – his clean record, his personality and the fact that he suffers from Parkinson’s disease – in deciding on his sentence.
In his final statement before the jury’s deliberations, which lasted almost three hours, Hardy said he had always wondered why he acted the way he did and described his future sentence as a “disaster”.
Since he has been on remand for 2.5 years, Hardy could normally qualify for parole after 12.5 years. According to a report in today’s issue of Het Nieuwsblad, the jury’s decision to place him at the disposal of the sentence-enforcement tribunal – which decides whether prisoners can be paroled – means that the three members of the tribunal will have to make that decision unanimously. Maria Novak The Brussels Times