Life sentence for killers of disabled Liege teen

Life sentence for killers of disabled Liege teen
The five youths on trial for torturing and killing a disabled teen from Liège were all found guilty of murder. Credit: © Belga

Liège's criminal court handed heavy sentences, including two life sentences, to the five defendants found guilty of cruelly torturing and murdering a disabled teen from Liege.

While the jury had found Alexandre Hart, 21 and Belinda Donnay,22, Dorian Daniels, 22, Loick Masson, 23, and Killian Wilmet, 18 all guilty of the murder of 18-year-old Valentin Vermeesch, the court on Tuesday handed different sentences to each of them.

Hart and Donnay were given life sentences, and Hart was handed an additional 15-year-sentence known as a "mise à disposition" in Belgian law.

The additional sentence handed to Hart —who during the trial was described as fitting the psychological profile of a psychopath— would place him under the surveillance of a court for 15 years if his life sentence were to be modified.

The court's final judgement concludes the highly-publicised trial of five individuals, the youngest of whom was 16 at the time of the events, who in 2017 kidnapped, cruelly tortured and sexually abused of Vermeesch for hours, before throwing him into the La Meuse river while he was still alive but tied-up.

During the trial, both Hart and Donnay were found to be the ones who pushed their victim, who suffered a slight mental disability, into the river.

Masson, who was the only one out of the five who was not indicted for rape, was handed a 27-year sentence, while Daniels was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Willmet, the youngest of the group and a minor at the time of the events, was handed a 29-year prison sentence, which was also topped off by a 15-year additional sentence like the one handed to Hart.

On Tuesday, the five defendants were allowed to speak to the court one last time before their final judgement was read out.

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times

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