Partner confesses to killing former Aalst mayor in her sleep
Share article:
Share article:

Partner confesses to killing former Aalst mayor in her sleep

© Belga

The former mayor of Aalst was murdered by her partner while she was still in bed asleep for reasons which the perpetrator cannot explain, his lawyer said.

Jurgen Demesmaeker, who has a previous record of violence against women, told officials in a preliminary hearing he woke up on Tuesday morning, grabbed a hammer and hit his partner, Ilse Uyttersprot, on the head while she was still sleeping.

On Tuesday, Uyttersprot, 53, was found dead in an apartment in the centre of Aalst, some 30 kilometres north of Brussels.

Related News:

 

“She was still in bed,” Demesmaeker’s lawyer, Krist’l De Paepe, said after his client’s questioning by an investigative judge.

The discovery was made after Demesmaeker, 49, turned himself over to police on Tuesday evening, telling them he had killed his partner.

Demesmaeker, who works in real estate, was convicted in 2014 to six months probation for strangling his former girlfriend and also harassing her for a long time, De Standaard reports, also pointing to separate instances of abusive behaviour towards his former partners.

The suspect’s lawyer said that his client regretted his actions, also disproving that reports that Uyttersprot wanted to leave Demesmaeker were at the origin of his decision to kill her.

“He regrets it, but it appears he lost it. He called it a short-circuit in his head,” De Paepe said. “There was no arguing.”

“Why he killed her remains unclear, he doesn’t know it himself, he has no explanation for it,” De Paepe said.

The lawyer said his client had gone into a “depressive dip” in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting lockdown.

The fact that Demesmaeker killed Uyttersprot while she was still asleep led the court to think the murder was premeditated, opening the door for a murder conviction.

His lawyer will argue that his actions were not premeditated and is aiming to get him convicted for manslaughter, which leads to lighter penalties.

Uyttersprot was mayor of Aalst from 2002 to 2007 and was still in office as a local councillor at the time of her murder. She is survived by two children.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Masks reintroduced indoors, teleworking encouraged
Masks will again be mandatory inside shops and other indoor public spaces, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced in a press conference on ...
Belgium intends to activate the pandemic law, says Health Minister
"We intend to activate the pandemic law," Public Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke confirmed on Tuesday in the House committee, ahead of Tuesday's ...
Offers for fake Covid Safe Tickets circulating on social media
As the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) becomes mandatory in many places across Belgium, offers for forgeries are increasingly circulating on social media. ...
EU auditors: More worried about the future budget than about pervasive errors in the 2020 budget
The European Court of Auditors (ECA) have signed off the 2020 EU accounts as giving a true and fair view of the union’s financial position but like ...
Belgium aims to tackle sexual violence with video interrogations
The federal government is looking to tackle sexual violence and increase convictions connected to this crime by relying more heavily on video ...
Duvel celebrates 150th anniversary with special brew in commemorative bottle
Belgium’s Duvel Moortgat Brewery is celebrating its 150th anniversary with the release of a special brew in a commemorative bottle shaped like its ...
Pollution scandal: 3M to show emissions don’t pose risk or halt production
Flanders has ordered American company 3M, involved in a pollution scandal in Antwerp, to prove that emissions linked to its production activities do ...
The Netherlands fears a greater rise in sea levels than forecast
Sea levels could rise by up to two metres by 2100 on the Dutch coastline – far more than previously forecast – according to an announcement from the ...
The Smurfs return to Belgian TV with the first new show since 1989
A new Smurfs show is bringing the characters of Belgium's second-most-famous comic franchise back to the small screen with their first new series, 30 ...
On this day in Brussels: An entrepreneurial journey begins
The Rue Dansaert was just beginning to become trendy when Alain Coumont opened his first bakery here on 26 October 1990. He started by baking big ...
Almost half of Belgian subsidies from EU left unused
Belgium left almost half (49%) of its subsidies allocated by the European Union between 2013 and 2020 unused, the equivalent of around €1.375 ...
Visitors to embark on Orient Express adventure at Brussels exhibition
An exhibition dedicated to the Orient Express – the train that was the scene for many novels, including Agatha Christie's – allows visitors to ...